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Comment: Electric vehicles work just fine in B.C.'s North

We have been driving electric vehicles in Prince George in weather as cold as –41 C.
An electric car at a charging station. TIMES COLONIST

A commentary on behalf of the Prince George Electric Vehicle Association.

I disagree with a lot of what Les Leyne said in his Nov. 7 column, “Accelerating push for electric vehicles makes no sense in North,” because of my ­experience driving electric ­vehicles in Prince George since 2009.

It is also based upon the experiences from hundreds of other individuals who are driving electric vehicles in and around Prince George, Fort St. John and northern Alberta.

I founded the Prince George Electric Vehicle Association in 2006 when my partner got a high school mechanics class to convert a gas pickup to electric using a conversion kit produced by a company on Vancouver Island.

We have been driving electric vehicles in Prince George ever since, in weather as cold as –41 C.

If you come here, you may learn:

• Electric vehicles start in cold weather when gas and diesel vehicles do not, as the electric vehicles have battery management systems to warm the battery. The warming uses electricity from the grid if you are plugged in and uses electricity from its own battery if you are not plugged in.

• You have air heated to more than 30 C blowing from the heater to warm you up within a minute of starting your electric vehicle.

• Many who drive electric vehicles do not use their ice scraper as the car defrosts so quickly.

• When charging, it takes about 20 seconds hanging out in the cold (10 seconds to plug in and 10 seconds to unplug). You no longer need to stand in –40 C while your vehicle fills up.

• When charging at home, the fuel costs the equivalent of 25 cents a litre.

• Fueling at home is convenient and you leave home every day fully fueled.

• You should do an oil change at 100,000 kilometres (one litre of reducer fluid).

• You can power your deep freeze, computer and other stuff during a power outage by plugging into your electric vehicle’s 120 volt outlet.

• Newer electric vehicles allow you to power your entire house for up to three days during a power outage.

• Electric vehicles out-perform gas and diesel vehicles.

• Electric vehicles are fun to drive.

• Most individuals who drive an electric vehicle never go back to gas or diesel.

Drive numerous different electric vehicle makes and models in Prince George and north this winter when the temperatures drop to –40 C, and see how it goes.

Ask an owner, we’re here.

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