Our electric vehicle reality

In response to Rick Knodel’s letter, printed in Barriere Star Journal Nov. 28, 2019

To the editor;

We purchased our “all-electric” Nissan Leaf in June of this year. My husband did the research and we decided to purchase a 2017 Leaf from a car lot in Coquitlam, it was the same price as a 2017 Honda Civic with similar mileage. We take offense to Rick Knodel’s statement “that tax payers will be subsidizing those who can afford an all-electric vehicle”. As for the loss of revenue from fuel and other related taxes associated with gas vehicles, our primary goal was to cut our carbon emissions, not evade paying our share of taxes.

I use our Nissan Leaf for my work commute, for this it has been outstanding. We also purchased a level 2 charger for $450 and my husband installed it in our home. Charging costs us approximately $1/day. We plug the car in before bed, charge it while electricity consumption is at its lowest, wake up in the morning and the battery is full. We are fortunate to have a free rapid charger in Little Fort where we live; I used it once just to check it out. There is another rapid charger in McLure which we use on trips to Kamloops and only one rapid charger is available in Kamloops at this time. The BC Hydro article in this same paper states “the majority of EV owners do the majority of charging at home or at work”.

As for 80 to 85 per cent of North America relying on thermal electricity, these carbon polluting industries are in the midst of a massive shake up with renewable energy sources rapidly coming online. I just heard today about the Tsilhqot’in Nation west of Williams Lake completing their solar farm, the biggest of its kind in B.C. Last week the Naghtaneqed School in the Nemiah Valley announced the completion of their solar energy system, enabling them to eliminate diesel burning for their power needs. U.S. investor Warren Buffett is investing $200-million in a Medicine Hat, Alberta, wind farm which “will produce enough energy to supply the equivalent of 79,000 homes”. These are a few examples of inspiring clean energy projects happening around us.

Since getting our EV, I often hear people trying to justify their opposition to them with comments such as: “I don’t want to be inconvenienced with charging”, “the batteries are unethical”, “they won’t work in cold weather”, “the range is too short”, and so on. We’ve all heard the IPCC reports on climate change, the dire warnings to stop burning fossil fuels; it’s time to stop making excuses and casting shadows of doubt such as Mr. Knodel’s letter.

On a brighter note, I read an article in the Vancouver Sun from Nov. 29, it said “in 2019 EV’s make up nine per cent of light-duty vehicles sold in BC.” “Electric vehicles sales in B.C. are the highest per capita in North America.” “Switching to EV’s is often the biggest contribution that every single one of us can make to the overall reduction in our emissions.”

It’s time to embrace the reality of electric vehicles.

Kathy Karlstrom and Richard Erlam

Little Fort, B.C.

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