PROVIDENCE BAY – Providence Bay’s Huron Sands Motel and Dining Room is the home to Manitoulin’s very first electric vehicle (EV) charger and with it, Vera Kuminov hopes to encourage more Islanders to think about purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle.
The Expositor spoke to the Huron Sands co-owner last week, just as she was logging on to the PlugShare website to get Providence Bay listed. PlugShare.com allows those with electric or hybrid vehicles to plan their routes according to charging stations and now Manitoulin is included on that map.
Ms. Kuminov got her hybrid Chevrolet Volt three years ago and she loves it. “I like the idea that I’m not fully dependent on the battery, but not on gas either.”
Last year she had a guest stay at the motel who needed a charge, so she brought her home charger to the motel to help them out. It was then that she realized that this was a needed service and asked for a quote from Henderson Electric. This winter it was installed, which was almost a full-day process.
“I think it’s an important statement to say, ‘it’s here, we’re green’,” Ms. Kuminov said.
While she’s not sure that it will attract tourists, she hopes that Islanders might be moved to purchase an electric vehicle or hybrid of their own.
Ms. Kuminov was effusive in her praise of Jan McQuay who has encouraged electric or hybrid vehicles from the beginning. Ms. McQuay has been approaching Manitoulin municipal councils on behalf of the Great Lakes Islands Alliance Manitoulin group, encouraging them to create an EV charging space in their respective communities, so this is a win for her.
“I’ve been campaigning for a year to get Manitoulin ‘on the map’,” Ms. McQuay said. “Charging times vary depending on the vehicle’s acceptance rate and battery size, but most hybrids will take only two to four hours to fully charge, just the right amount of time to have a meal and take a look around the village.”
The Huron Sands EV charger is a Level 2 (240 volts) and takes between three and four hours to fully charge Ms. Kuminov’s Volt.
“Inessa (Taibert, Huron Sands co-owner) and I are happy to provide this service,” Ms. Kuminov added.
“For tourism these days, it’s important to have charging stations to assure both hybrid and EV owners that they can recharge here and they don’t have to dash between Tobermory and Espanola,” Ms. McQuay added. “Providence Bay is a great place for a recharging station because it will encourage people to come and spend some time in one of the most beautiful spots on Manitoulin. I think Vera deserves lots of credit for leading the way.”
“It is great to hear Huron Sands has installed an electric vehicle charging station,” said Brad Wright, the first Islander to purchase a fully electric car, a Tesla, in 2018. “It will most certainly attract EV owners to Providence Bay. Personally, when travelling, my wife and I make a point to support businesses that have electric charging stations and would encourage more Manitoulin Island businesses to install them. Our tourism sector will only benefit from this initiative as EVs become more widespread.”