Lessons for EV charging from the history of gas stations

The Star has a feature called "Learning to Network - There are some lessons EVs can learn from the creation of gas stations more than a century ago."

At the onset of the automobile era in the early 1900s, gas stations were few and far between. General stores and pharmacies often had a bucket of gasoline on standby, but drivers would funnel the gas into their own vehicle. And they typically had to plan a route based on these locations—without, of course, the assistance of smartphones and mobile apps.

Entrepreneurs started to buy gas from wholesalers and set up pumps with nozzles that fit Ford’s Model T, the first widely available automobile. This eventually led to the standardization of tanks and nozzles. Canada’s first “official” gas station opened in 1907, at a local Imperial Oil office in Vancouver. This station sported a pump created from a kitchen hot-water tank, and a length of garden hose in an open-sided corrugated tin shed. Eventually, large oil companies got involved and started building out national chains of gas stations that we still have in place today.

The history of gas stations in Canada holds a few lessons for the creation of a public electric vehicle (EV) charging network — though there are some key differences.

Read the full story at the Star.

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