An electric vehicle show at Thompson Rivers University later this month aims to educate residents about the benefits of plugging in before hitting the road.
The free event on June 23 in the Campus Activity Centre’s Grand Hall is being hosted by the BC Sustainable Energy Association and TRU’s sustainability office.
Cheryl Kabloona, chair of the local chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, said electric vehicles require less maintenance than gas-powered cars and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, she said, government rebate programs are making the vehicles more affordable.
“We’re trying to show people that it’s possible to live in a low carbon way,” she said.
Kabloona said cost of the technology is decreasing, with an entry-level electric vehicle listed now at about $30,000. Additionally, federal and provincial government rebates of $5,000 each decrease that price tag, as does a “turn in your junker car” program that is worth another $6,000.
Kabloona said the vehicles typically cost more up front, but less is paid down the road, due to simpler mechanical systems requiring less maintenance.
She said misconceptions about electric vehicles include range anxiety, with people concerned about being stranded, with the limited charging network set up at this point.
However, Kabloona said, electric vehicles are great for commuting around town, despite challenges that remain with long distances.
“What you do is, you plan ahead,” she said. “There’s a website. It’s called Plug Share [plugshare.com], where you can see where the chargers are and figure out how far you can go, comfortably. Once you get used to it, it’s not difficult.”
The June 23 event will include several speakers who will discuss electric vehicles. The day will include first-hand experience from electric vehicle owners, discussions on how to operate them and information on rebates and dealerships selling the vehicles.
Electric vehicles will be on hand, including the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Teslas, the Hyundai Ioniq and BMW i3.
Kabloona said the ease of buying an electric vehicle in Kamloops depends on the model. She said the Bolt and Leaf are “ready to sell,” while others may take time to order. She recommended a dealership in Port Moody, Westwood Honda, which specializes in reselling used electric vehicles.
To attend the June 23 electric vehicle show at TRU, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., register online at eventbrite.ca.
Electric bikes will also be showcased, including one that will given out as a prize. Electric bikes, Kabloona said, are a good option for commuting in Kamloops. Essentially, it’s a regular bike that provides help when going up hills.