Letter: High gas price means electric vehicles make perfect sense

Editor: I find it laughable how like a bunch of yo-yos, time and time again, we are subject to volatile gas prices here in the Lower Mainland; a place not far from the land of oil sand resources where Albertans are struggling to recover in the oil and gas Industry.

Even more hilarious was the lineup at the Costco gas station where on two recent occasions my son and I witnessed multiple lanes of vehicles lined up out onto 64 Avenue, blocking traffic as the poor occupants, akin to ‘herded sheep’, sat waiting for over half an hour with engines running to save $5 to $10 in fuel.  So sad — for them, and the environment.

They say that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same task over and over again each time expecting a different outcome.

Is this what we are all doing year after year for our gas? The big oil corporations even convinced us (or trained us) to stand in line in the pouring rain and snow to fill our tank under the belief hat we are saving money.

How is this true when we are actually now employed by them to put their product in our tank?

I remember 30 years ago when my mom or dad pulled up to a full-service station and none of us left the vehicle. People came up to the family wagon and things just got done.

Today, we willingly do all this work ourselves as the big oil executives and their accountants exchange high fives and plan their next mega vacation or build their third vacation home as we stand in the rain. How sad.

A few short years ago I had an epiphany.  I read then that we pay the highest fuel prices on the continent and went on line to research the cost per ‘green kilowatt’.

Ironically, our northwest region is production of the cheapest and greenest electricity – so reasonable that Coast Mountain Bus Company in Vancouver, has had electric buses since 1948.  So I took it upon myself to research EV options back in 2013 and our family purchased our first EV in spring of 2015.

We now have over 51,000 EV kms.  In December, we traded our second gas vehicle in for our second EV.

With the passing of each week and month, we are slowly forgetting the smell of gas.

When gas prices dip down momentarily, yes we still get the comments that, ”EVs won’t be sustainable or be economical because gas is too cheap.”

Our response is: “Who cares what gas prices are, because we never have to buy it ever again.”

In fact, you might as well comment on the price of uranium because both make no difference in our EV world.

What we have learned in two years is that we all have transportation and energy options like never before. Also, EVs — although more expensive initially —cost a mere pittance in maintenance and fuel over time. We pay $1 in electricity for every 100 kms, and have purchased only windshield washer fluid and performed tire rotations on our EV.

To go a step further, how about all of the time we’ve saved for our family not getting gas each week for each vehicle and making routine trips for oil and filters and other combustible engine and drive train related services?  We leave each morning from our home with a full tank of electricity, so we are never searching for a fuel station, and we rarely need to search out a charging station because our EVs have over 300 kms per full charge.  We now spend all of this extra time as a family with each other and with friends, and again what’s that worth?

We understand that not all vehicles are replaceable yet with an EV option. We have an old 4×4 truck that we keep barely maintained and mostly in storage as we await the EV replacement for it, and they are coming.

Tesla recently exceeded Ford’s market cap, to become on paper the second largest vehicle manufacturer in North America and for good reason; Investors are placing their bet where they believe the future is headed.

Tesla recently built a massive $8 billion dollar battery plant in Nevada and there are others being built for European and Asian manufacturers to catch up.  With eventual construction of eight massive battery plants world-wide, there will be enough batteries produced to supply all new cars and trucks globally, so we can reach those 2030 climate change targets.

So ask yourself one question as this pendulum shift takes place over the next 10 years: do you want to be riding the wings of change from the front of the pack, or back of the lineup?

If you have questions about EVs and want to speak to everyday owners/drivers, join us on Sunday, April 30 at the Otter Co-op Vintage Car show, where the 1912 Detroit Electric Car will be on display with several other late model EVs.

Kick some tires and learn how to find the EV that’s perfect for you and start saving precious time and money. Take time to visit your local dealerships and demand that you speak to their EV/hybrid experts. Most dealerships provide several EV options and are here to help you find that vehicle that fits your family needs and budget.

Natal (Nat) Cicuto,

Member of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA)

Willoughby

Langley Times