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A Bit of Burgos by Dale Burgos

To EV or not to EV?


by Dale Burgos

electric carHow will you spend your carbon tax rebate? Count yourself lucky because here in British Columbia we don’t get the rebate. Instead, we get gas prices that are amongst the highest in North America! How exciting is that? (Insert crying face emoji here.)

British Columbia is known to be a very expensive place to live, and the Burgos clan knew that back in 2014 when we made the move from Manitoba to the West Coast. For the most part, we’ve been very happy with our decision, that is until we have to fill up our tanks at the gas station. Gas can’t be that bad, right? Well, as of today my local gas station has regular unleaded at $2.07 per litre. (Insert puking emoji here.)

So, do I sit and wallow in sadness every time I go to the pumps? No, there’s not much I can do as I can’t control the price of gasoline – but wouldn’t that be a great superpower? I’m hearing reports that we may reach almost $3.00 per litre by the end of the summer. If that happens, I’m going to purchase a good pair of shoes and walk everywhere.

A more realistic option would be to get rid of the gas guzzler and explore electric vehicles, or at the very least, a hybrid model. I have to say, electric vehicles are quite popular here, most likely because of the warmer weather as I hear batteries don’t perform well in colder climates. Is that true? I’m not a battery expert so I don’t want to spread misinformation, but it does make sense.

Tesla, Toyota, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and many other car makers are making electric vehicle (EV) models. Many carmakers even have the ambitious goal to be completely electric in the next couple decades. Sure, it is quite alluring, especially when gas prices are this high, but there is a big downside; these cars come at a premium. Is it worth forking over the extra dollars for an EV model just to save at the pumps? Well, that’s the question many people are facing these days.

In late April, Honda made an announcement that they will be investing over $15 billion to create four new manufacturing plants in Ontario with a focus on EV. This includes the construction of an electric vehicle assembly plant, new EV battery plant and more. Clearly this technology is here to stay.

This after, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reported a drop in sales when compared to the previous year. Due to the dip in revenue and preparing for the next phase of growth in the company, the tech giant announced the layoff of 10 per cent of Tesla employees.

Now back to the question: to EV or not to EV?

Last year, I looked at a number of different EV models. While the drive was zippy and I did feel like I was helping to save on greenhouse gas emissions, the cost for battery replacement is still quite high. One dealer indicated that a change in batteries would be nearly the same as the cost of the vehicle when new! To me, that isn’t a great selling point.

This is when I turned to hybrid options. A hybrid has the best of both worlds. It has a gas and electric motor that essentially translates to savings at the pump. Along with fuel efficiency, you can look forward to reduced emissions, fancy tech gadgets, a quiet vehicle and I’m told a very high resale value.

So, it doesn’t look like we’re going fully electric in the Burgos household, but we surely are looking at saving at the pump and for now the hybrid is our best option. Ask me again in 10 years, maybe we’ll be looking at flying cars.

Dale manages the corporate communications department for a municipal government in B.C.

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