SASKATOON -- New electric vehicle charging stations are up and running at Parks Canada locations across the country, including three in Saskatchewan. 

The charging stations were donated by Tesla to help give electric vehicle owners the freedom to travel to some remote locations. 

This news was well-received by Tesla owner Curtis Bloom. He drives his electric car everywhere but said for trips over 520 kilometres, he has to find a charging station. 

As of right now, there’s not a lot of them around. 

“There’s different levels of charging. Level two chargers charge at around 60 kilometres an hour of charging, and level three chargers can charge this car in 20 to 30 minutes to an 80 per cent change. So that’s what we’re hoping for,” Bloom said. 

Parks Canada has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 14 national parks and 12 historic sites, including Prince Albert National Park, Batoche National Historic Site and Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site. 

Grasslands National Park is also expected to get a charging station shortly. 

The charging stations are half Tesla specific and half are for other makes and models of battery-powered cars. 

Cal Martin, Prince Albert National Park Superintendent, said it’s part of the federal government’s commitment to reduce climate change. 

“We want to be a leader in Canada with providing charging stations for people so that they can contribute to the fight against climate change so that they can help the environment and reduce emissions and get out and enjoy these wonderful places in their zero emission vehicle.”

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change said transportation accounts for a quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

In the next few months, 38 Parks Canada places will have charging stations. 

Bloom said knowing there are sites in remote areas might make a trip across Canada simpler for electric vehicle drivers. 

“All the National Parks seems to be adding them so it’s good that the federal government is backing what they’re preaching,” he said. 

Unlike a fill-up of fuel, the electric charging stations at Parks Canada sites are free to use to encourage more people to drive emissions-free vehicles.

With files from Lisa Risom