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Auto show buzzing with electric-car chargers

TORONTO - High-powered charging stations may be popping up in a mall parking lot near you as Canadian companies look to expand the number of places hybrid and electric cars can stop and juice up.

The Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto — which opens to the public on Friday — features not only sparkling new cars and bold concept vehicles, but also several firms looking to plant a charging station in your home and on the highway.

Sun Country Highway founder Kent Rathwell says the several hundred electric vehicle charging stations his company installed across Canada on the Trans-Canada Highway last year is just a start.

Rathwell says that getting infrastructure in place for vehicles powered by electric and hybrid engines helps cut down "range anxiety" about electric vehicles not lasting on longer trips.

There were a handful of faster at-home charging stations being touted at the auto show offering quicker charge times compared to plugging an electric or hybrid car into a regular wall outlet — taking one-fourth the usual time for some cars.

Lorne Hedges of Schneider Electric says his company is looking to sell dedicated chargers to malls, offices and businesses.

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