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Prince George Electric Vehicle drivers support rally for a zero-emission future

‘We wanted to make sure it was recognized there are EVs up here’

Prince George electric vehicle owners drove through the city today (July 6) to rally for a zero-emission future.

Doug Beckett, founder of the Prince George Electric Vehicle Association, rallied with Tesla Model Y owner Matthew Ceaser, to represent the north in the Electric Vehicle Rally happening in Victoria.

“We can’t have the north forgotten,” says Beckett, when the pair stopped outside of MLA Shirley Bond’s office in downtown Prince George. “We have the same barriers in the north so we wanted to make sure it was recognized there are EVs up here.”

He says they want to remind government the number of Electric Vehicles on the road the interior and northern BC is increasing at a tremendous rate.

On May 30, 2019, the province passed the Zero Emissions Vehicle Act requiring 10 per cent of new vehicle sales be zero-emission by 2025 and 100 per cent by 2040.

However, the 10 per cent target has already been met five years early, so the Electric Vehicle Rally is calling on the government to achieve 100 per cent zero-emission new car sales by no later than 2035.

Advocates are also calling for a “right to charge” which would mean tenants of multi-unit buildings would have legal recourse to support them when they are denied access to electric infrastructure.

The group also wants it to be a requirement that all new construction both residential and commercial include ‘plug and go’ EV charging infrastructure.

“No government spending is needed to make these changes,” says Beckett. “What it does, is it makes it easier for people to say ‘yes, I will buy an electric vehicle’.”

He says these changes will allow more electric vehicles to charge at home and will entice car manufacturers to ramp up the production of electric vehicles.

Beckett has been driving electric vehicles since 2009 and was the first person in Prince George to own an electric vehicle.

He says the electric vehicle landscape is quickly changing with a number of local dealerships either being electric vehicle certified or beginning to sell electric vehicles.

Among many other Electric Vehicle makes and models, Prince George is now home to Tesla models S, 3, X and Y.

Matthew Ceaser was not only the first person in Prince George to own a Tesla, but also one of the first 200 in the province.

“I really liked that they were a lot better for the environment,” says Ceaser. “That was my primary goal and I have seen that [Electric Vehicles] have improved tremendously over time and I like how much cheaper they were to operate and I think the savings over time are going to add up.”

Ceaser says he personally knows of at least three people in the city who’ve purchased a Tesla this year.

“People really like it,” says Ceaser. “We went in the Father’s Day parade we had and some of the birthday parades we had around and you just hear people shout out ‘Tesla! It’s a Tesla!’ as you drive by.”

EV fuel cost equivalent of 20 cents a litre and have no tailpipe emissions which means EV greenhouse gas emissions are less than 1 per cent of the emissions of gas and diesel vehicles for the same travel distances.

You can learn more about the Prince George Electric Vehicle Association online.