Though electric cars are finding enthusiastic users in Alaska’s Southeast, how they would perform on the Kenai Peninsula is largely a speculative matter.
To date, the local peak of electric car popularity may have come when managers of the Kenai’s Kendall Ford dealership, formerly Stanley Ford, added several models of hybrid and electric Ford vehicles to its stock.
Kendall Ford salesman Dave Bartelmay, who was with Stanley at the time, led a talk on electric vehicles at HEA’s Energy Technology Workshops on Thursday, Nov. 9.
Electric vehicles are becoming popular in Southeast Alaska communities like Juneau — which, according to radio station KTOO, has an estimated 100 electric vehicles, 10 charging stations, and an advocacy group encouraging electric car-friendly infrastructure. One encouragement for electric cars in Southeast is an abundance of cheap hydro-electricity.
For many on the peninsula, however, electric vehicles seem less practical than in the more compact towns of the southeast, which lack long roads between them. The road distance between Homer and Anchorage is about 220 miles — roughly the range of a high-end electric car. Recharging an electric car can take from 30 minutes to 12 hours, leaving a hypothetical electric driver across the Kenai Peninsula with a potentially long wait time after making the trip.