EV Fleets in British Columbia
August 9, 2017
British Columbians love their cars, as I’m sure many of you know. But it may be a surprise to many that we’re leaders in the green automotive revolution as well. More and more individuals and fleet owners, including local governments and businesses, are opting to go green, resulting in a huge surge of EV’s on B.C.’s roads.
With so many fleets operating in the province and the increasing availability of charging infrastructure, EVs have been spotted everywhere, from police fleets to transit busses. And given all the new technology and infrastructure currently going into green auto infrastructure, it’s becoming even more convenient and logical to go green.
Earlier in May, TransLink started its three-month trial of a new electric battery-powered bus. Loaded with passengers, the range on these buses is over 250 km on a single charge and will be 80 per cent cheaper to run than diesel powered buses, according to manufacturer, BYD.
In July, the Vancouver Police Department jumped onboard as well, adding a couple of new electric motorcycles to their fleet. These motorcycles require no fuel, oil or transmission fluid and run quieter than gasoline powered motorcycles.
Within British Columbia, many cities are distinguishing themselves for their commitment to greener modes of transportation.
The City of Vancouver, for example, has one of the largest municipal green vehicle fleets in the country and plans to keep replacing older, light-duty vehicles with EVs to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Metro Vancouver currently has over 3,000 EVs on its roads and expects 300,000 registered EVs by the year 2050.
Not surprisingly, the City of Vancouver is also committing itself to improving the charging network through its EV Ecosystem Strategy – leading to an even more EV-friendly city.
For many large fleet owners, whether they are governments or businesses, it simply makes sense to go electric.
As I’ve said earlier, the costs from operating an electric battery powered bus is significantly lower than that of a traditional diesel powered bus. But not only is it cost-effective, it makes a significant impact on your environmental footprint as well and makes a great alternative to gasoline powered cars.
EVs have an amazing range and charging stations should be especially easy to find in urban centres. Even for fleets that have to travel long distances on highways outside of cities, the recent boost in EVs in Canada should lead to the installation of many new charging stations along major highways.
It was just announced, for example, that 34 new fast-charging stations will be built along the Trans-Canada Highway between Ontario to Manitoba by 2019. Hopefully, that will expand westward too.
As a province, we’re a leader in electric vehicle sales. For some, the auto industry has not always been viewed as synonymous with being the most environmental, but today’s auto industry is continually innovating and developing greener technologies. Fleet owners and managers adopting EVs are seeing the rewards and benefits from going electric, and the volume of EVs will only increase from here on out.
Have EVs sparked your interest? Get plugged in by dropping in to see your nearest new car dealer today to test drive the latest models available in the market.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected].
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