BC is Getting Charged Up About Electric Cars
Anyone who attended last week’s Vancouver International Auto Show couldn’t have missed the Green Ride and Drive exhibit staged in front of the convention centre. All-electric Ford Fusions and hybrid Prius and Lexus models awaited test drivers on Canada Way, hoping to prove to prospective buyers that they can be just as much fun to drive as any regular car.
Some people think electric vehicles (EVs) ride like glorified golf carts, but they actually have a lot of power under the hood – they just run quieter. In fact, without internal combustion engines, they’re so silent that the U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing that EVs emit sounds so that the blind and other pedestrians can know they’re approaching. Car companies like the idea of creating their own sound, and “car-tones” like the ones we hear in Blade Runner have already been suggested. Hey, never know – maybe car tones will bring on a whole new branch of automotive careers.
As any student in Car Sales training will tell you, EVs aren’t cheap, but the major appeal of buying one is being able to avoid the high cost at the gas pump. Also, research has shown that maintenance costs for EVs can be as much as 50% lower than traditional automobiles, thanks to fewer fluids to change, significantly reduced brake wear due to regenerative braking, and far fewer moving parts.
This video will demonstrate the differences of an electric vehicle for an auto technician:
The province of British Columbia is certainly making it easier to own an electric car. BC Environment Minister Terry Lake announced at last week’s auto show’s opening that BC was extending the $5,000 rebate on the purchase of a clean energy vehicle until 2014. While the province had expected more electric and hybrid plug-in cars to sell since the program was announced, now that charging infrastructure has been set to launch along Highway 1 and numerous Lower Mainland locations, including Surrey, it is hoped more people will be encouraged to make the green switch.
New fast-charging stations that can give a car an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes will be installed in 13 communities across BC, including:
– City of North Vancouver
– District of North Vancouver
– Township of Langley
In addition to these direct current (DC) stations, more than five hundred Level 2 charging stations are becoming available, which require up to eight hours for a full charge.
See the fast charger in action here:
The DC stations are part of a unique project that aims to enable green driving along the entire Pacific Coast. While EVs are currently most used by commuters with a battery charge lasting about 100 kilometres, this West Coast Green Highway will ensure electric vehicles can access fast-charging from Whistler all the way to San Diego, California.