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Shining a Light on the Personal EV Experience

Shining a Light on the Personal EV Experience

March 11, 2021

For several years in my role as President and CEO with BC’s New Car Dealers Association, Post Media has published a regular column that provides a platform to highlight many aspects of the auto sector.  A regular topic is that of electric vehicles – and has ranged from the latest in EV technology, sales, trends and initiatives that help support the further adoption of clean energy vehicles in this province.

Following the publishing of a recent column, I received a note from Dorothy Hiebert of Port Moody, who suggested the positive experience of owning and driving an electric vehicle doesn’t receive enough attention. With that in mind, I asked Dorothy to provide some personal thoughts on the issue, and she graciously responded.

Dorothy and her husband are big believers in EVs, particularly since they purchased their first Chevy Bolt 3 and half years ago. They use the vehicle for all of their driving activity in and around the Lower Mainland, and have also taken trips to the Interior and into Alberta. She proudly adds that the odometer reads 97,000 kilometres and counting. Given the amount they drive, the cost they save on gas (at more than $1.50 per litre!) is not lost on them.

The relationship between Dorothy and her vehicle is a special one, suggesting in her 55 years behind the wheel, it’s a driving experience unlike any other. “The car and I are a team,” she adds, “working together effortlessly. It is nearly as simple as the car having a connection to my thoughts, the responsiveness of the car’s actions is almost like the car can read my mind. The result is I can drive for hours and not get tired.”

“Without actually getting behind the wheel and experiencing what I am talking about, this aspect of driving an EV is not appreciated like it should be, and that is unfortunate.”

Dorothy makes clear that she is not trying to make an environmental statement, but will always drive an EV. As a personal booster for electric vehicles, she recently accompanied a friend through a car shopping experience and after hearing so many positive experiences, her friend is now enjoying the same fun and other benefits of driving an EV. And for those who may be on the fence about EVs or simply want more information, she points to the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA) https://veva.ca/, as a helpful resource.

Ultimately, everyone wants to love their car and look forward to their own driving experience and Dorothy’s story is not an isolated one. In a recent JD Power study, 82 per cent of EV owners say they will definitely consider purchasing another electric vehicle in the future. According to a recent study commissioned by the Government of Canada, only about 3% of Canadians own an electric vehicle – but 2 out of 5 Canadians say their next vehicle will likely be electric.

A decade ago, the notion of electric vehicle (EV) sales making a dent in the new car marketplace appeared to be something that would likely occur far down the road. Today, much has changed. Government support in the form of necessary rebates, improving EV charging station access, increasing vehicle range and product availability, and a growing environmental consciousness, have all combined to drastically alter the automotive landscape, especially in British Columbia.

EVs have clearly moved from the periphery of the marketplace to a more mainstream option for many reasons. And as Dorothy would suggest, not to be dismissed is the fun factor of owning and driving an electric vehicle.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca

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