Whenever we use a gasoline-powered car, truck, RV, boat or airplane, we add fuel to the fire of the climate crisis. And yet we can’t just stop our lives. So what can we do?
- You can urge your government leaders to make it safe and easy to get around by bus, bike, e-scooter or foot, to provide a safe, affordable province-wide bus service, and to accelerate the electric vehicle revolution.
- If you need a car, switch to an electric vehicle.
- If you can’t afford an EV, switch to a more fuel-efficient vehicle that won’t add so much fire to the climate crisis.
There is a wide range of e-bikes, ranging from $1,250 to $7,500. If you visit a local bike shop, you can try one out. Electric scooters cost between $300 and $2,000.
- In 2021 there were 26 EVs on the market, ranging from the Volkswagen e-Golf ($38,000) to the Tesla Model X ($137,000). You can see the full range at https://ev.plugndrive.ca and www.emotivebc.ca. Most new EVs have a range of 400 km, more in summer.
- The federal rebate is $5,000, plus the $3,000 BC rebate. If you scrap a car dated 2001 or earlier or a gas-guzzler that consumes 7.2+ litres/100km you can get up to $6,000 for a new EV (except a Tesla), or $3,000 towards a 2nd hand EV. See www.scrapit.ca and www.electricvehicles.bchydro.com
- An EV’s energy use is measured in kWh per 100 km. With careful driving, you’ll use 10 kWh per 100 km. At Tier 1 (10 cents/kWh), charging will cost $1 per 100 km, or $200 for 20,000 km.
- An EV engine and drive system has far fewer moving parts, so over its life, repair and maintenance will cost $4,600 less than a gasoline-powered car.
- If you drive 20,000 km a year you will save $1,000 – $2000 in fuel, and more in servicing costs. If gas is expensive and electricity cheap, over 15 years a Tesla Model 3 will cost less than a conventional Honda Civic.The 2 Degrees Institute found that over ten years, driving an EV in BC costs 74% less than driving a similar conventional vehicle.
- Electric pick-up trucks are coming too, with 8 models reaching the market in 2022, bringing electric tool capacity with them. https://insideevs.com/car-lists/electric-trucks
Safe, Affordable, Accessible Travel
Instead of commuting to work in your car each morning, imagine being able to ride in a comfortable electric coach with OJ and wi-fi. Imagine such a service connecting small towns throughout BC, however remote. Imagine not needing to own a car at all, but being able to use a car or a truck when you need one by joining a car-share club, removing the hassle of servicing and repairs.
- Imagine that every city or town also has safe, separated bike lanes, and that long-distance bike-trails connect communities, as they do in countries such as Holland and Denmark.
- Imagine urban neighbourhoods being designed so that all essential services are within a 15 minute walk, as Paris is planning towards.
- Imagine all buses being electric, as most are in China. Imagine 18-wheeler electric trucks, electric ferries,
In this travel future, we can still get where we need to go, but without contributing to the climate crisis. Air pollution vanishes, and there are far fewer cars on the roads, causing far fewer accidents and deaths, enabling towns and cities to reclaim space for trees, pedestrian streets and green space.
Write Letters, Seeking Change
Write to your local Mayor, Council and MLA urging that they work to bring us transportation without climate pollution:
- Safe, affordable, accessible, province-wide electric transit.
- Safe separated bike-lanes.
- Continued support for electric vehicles, with the goal that by 2030 all new light-duty vehicles are electric, as Britain is doing, and by 2040 all vehicles are electric.
- The steady redesign of our communities to make them so much more safe and pedestrian-friendly.