Electric cars being considered in Campbell River

The president of Campbell River Electric Wheels has a shiny new car he would like to find a home for – but it’s not legally allowed on Campbell River streets.

Stanley Elliott, who heads the company, recently took possession of a dealership that allows him to sell electric cars at his store.

“This is the first time we’ve had an electric car in Campbell River available for use on the streets,” Elliott told city council Tuesday night.

“We think having these vehicles is in keeping with Campbell River’s decision to go green. These cars will reduce the city’s carbon footprint dramatically.”

The only problem is, the electric car, also known as a low speed vehicle, is not legally permitted on Campbell River streets unless the city passes a bylaw allowing the use of the vehicle.

Elliott urged the city to adopt a bylaw similar to ones already in place in Tofino, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Qualicum Beach and Ucluelet, to allow electric vehicles to be driven on neighbourhood streets.

The cars, which do not use fuel but instead run on a battery, do not produce emissions and cannot travel more than 40 kilometres per hour.

Elliott said the cars are convenient for those making several short trips a day, such as landscapers or shipyard workers who need to go back and forth for supplies.

“There’s a large amount of driving that can be done and it will save people a boatload of money,” Elliott said.

Instead of fuelling up at a gas station, the car’s battery is put on a charger for about six hours.

Elliott said one charge, in ideal conditions, is typically good for about 76 kilometres.

If the car is travelling up a lot of hills or driven in cold weather, the temperature of the battery  changes and the charge could last for just 46 kilometres.

Elliott said the lifespan of the battery is between four and eight years.

According to a quote by Forever Green Electric Cars, a base model costs $11,995 while a vehicle with standard features comes at a cost of $14,045. To upgrade and add additional options, it will cost $21,720.

Council chose to defer Elliott’s bylaw request to the city’s transportation department and the Environmental Advisory Committee for more information on how electric cars could fit into the city’s priorities.


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