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Car show features array of electric options in Vernon

SENS hosting dozens of vehicles at Sunday event
Ed Wilson owns a Hyundai Ionic, an electric car, which will be one of dozens on display June 18 at the Kal Tire head office parking lot. (Contributed)

More than 30 different makes, models, and ages of electric cars, trucks, buses, bikes, and motorcycles are charged up to show off this weekend.

The Vernon Sustainable Environment Network Society’s (SENS) annual, free EV (electric) Car Show takes place Sunday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kal Tire Head Office Parking Lot at 1540 Kalamalka Lake Rd.

“If you are thinking about buying an EV, or simply curious, this show is for you. You will see many different EV’s, all in the same place. It would take days to see this many different EV’s going around the dealerships,” said Ed Wilson, better known as EV Ed, with SENS.

“Best of all, you speak to owners. Ask them what they like, what they don’t like, their experiences, costs, and challenges.”

Low operating and maintenance costs are what attract most buyers to EV vehicles, while some want to take personal action to reduce their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.

Wilson owns a 2019 Hyundai Ionic, which has a published range of 200 kilometres, but is up to 265 in the summer and as low as 175 in the winter.

“I added up the kilometres travelled, and electricity used for 2020 and 2021. The figures for both years were similar; 9,500 km for 1,500 kWh or $150 of electricity. That is an average annual cost of 1.58 cents/km. Typically, costs for a gas car are about eight times more than for an EV of similar size.”

A recent trip to Kelowna on a hot day proved summer travel costs are less.

“The air conditioning ran full time,” said Wilson. “The trip was 150 km and used 20 kWh ($2 of electricity), for a mileage of 1.33 cents/km. If I commuted 100 km from Vernon to Kelowna to work in our EV, my weekly summer electricity cost would be $6.65. In summer, air conditioning use takes 30 km off the range. In winter, the heater use takes 10 to 15 per cent off the range.”

Compared to gas cars, with upwards of 2,500 parts to make the car move, EV cars only have about 50-60, therefore maintenance costs are less.

“We own two cars, the other being a 2019 Honda CRV. We need the CRV for many reasons, mostly to drive to visit children and grandchildren in Saskatoon. The CRV is three months newer than the EV. The four year major service cost for the Honda at 45,296 km was $780. The four year major service cost for the EV at 40,122 km was $280.”

But EV’s aren’t without problems.

“First, an EV is not for everyone,” said Wilson, listing high purchase cost, range and charging issues as the three problems.

“The demand is high, and the supply is low. The government grants of $7,500 in B.C. for a new EV help, if you are willing to make a deposit of $1,000 and wait 12-18 months for delivery. The good news is that in time, the purchase costs will come down as EV production increases and more used EV’s are on the market. The bad news is that the government grants will be removed in future.”

Range is another issue.

“For $40,000 new purchase price, you can get 200-250 km of range. For $55,000, you can get 450 km of range. For $80,000 plus, you can get 600 plus km of range,” according to Wilson. “The EV with a 200 km range is limited to travel in your immediate area. Longer trips can be done with careful planning for high speed recharging stations. Ev’s with 450 km range on main highways require modest planning for charging stations. Remote or low population areas have sparse to no public charging stations, and thus are not places for an EV.

“We use our EV (200 km range) for local trips. We have been as far as Kelowna and Salmon Arm. If we had only one car, it would be a plug-in hybrid. These vehicles can be plugged in to recharge the battery for a range of battery-only driving of 40 to 80 km, before the gas motor moves the car, or runs the generator which powers the batteries to move the car. This is enough range for local driving at reduced driving costs with no GHG emissions.”

Charging issues also relate to range.

“I have never used a public charging station. We charge at home. We started using the 110 volt connector provided with the EV. It was too slow; 24 hours for a full charge. We spent $1,485.20 after receiving a $700 grant for our electrician and a higher end 220 volt charger. Now an empty to full charge is 4.5 hours. The new EV’s can charge from 20 to 80 per cent full at some public charging stations in 18 minutes, almost enough time to use the toilet and have a coffee.”

Anyone who owns an EV is welcome to come to the show at 10:30 a.m.

“Bring a lawn chair and hot weather gear. I notice that the EV owners have a great time visiting with each other. I have learned great tips from other owners.”

READ MORE: New electric vehicle charging station up and running in Cherryville

READ MORE: Contractor signed for Vernon Active Living Centre


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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