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Sunday, September 22, 2019
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Home Opinion MLA Dan Davies - Weekly Column - Plug-in policy approach

MLA Dan Davies – Weekly Column – Plug-in policy approach

At a time when gas prices are reaching all-time highs, most British Columbians wish they had more fuel-efficient vehicles to save money for themselves and drive something that is more environmentally-friendly.

After all, we all want to do our part to leave a better planet for our children.

There are lots of things we can realistically do, even in a province as geographically diverse as British Columbia.

However, a one size-fits-approach won’t necessarily work for every region in the province.

The NDP’s promise to make all cars and trucks zero-emission vehicles by 2040 is a prime example of applying too wide a blanket to a very complicated problem.

We all want a greener future, but for those of us who live and work in the north, we need a more realistic approach especially when the temperature dips below the minus 30 mark.

It’s a simple fact that lithium ion batteries simply can’t hold a charge very well once the temperature dips below zero. The colder it gets, the worse they perform.

But that doesn’t seem to matter to John Horgan and the NDP. Their cookie-cutter approach to zero emission vehicles indicates that, with blind faith, anything that works for the Lower Mainland will also work just fine in Fort St. John.

The legislation Horgan and his party have proposed will apply to all light-duty vehicles, including half-tonne trucks.

I know a lot of people in our neck of the woods who need vehicles of this size or larger, for employment.

They operate in some of the most remote parts of the province where re-charging stations are unlikely to be located.

This speaks to the limited range of plug-in vehicles. Right now the average range of electric vehicles is about 300 miles, or a little less than 500 kilometres under ‘normal’ temperatures. Factor in the cold, as well as loads that would exceed more than just a single passenger, and you get a picture of what owning an electronic vehicle in the north would look like.

I have no doubt that technology will continue to improve over the next 20 years. But we aren’t there yet, and a cookie-cutter approach for the whole province simply won’t do.

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