Small EV rally held on Monday

The Prince George Electric Vehicle Association held a rally outside the offices of local MLAs Shirley Bond and Mike Morris on Tuesday.

Association founder Doug Beckett said he was a little disappointed in the turnout – only two vehicles took part, Beckett in his Nissan Leaf and Matthew Ceaser driving a Tesla Model 3.

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"I wanted to make sure the north wasn't forgotten," Beckett said. "There are 60 to 70 electric vehicles in Prince George, in 2009 there was only one."

Beckett said the rally was intended to raise the profile of electric vehicles, and call for changes at the provincial level.

The group wants to see B.C. move its timelines for the adoption of electric vehicles forward by five years, he said. The province has committed to phase out fossil-fuel powered passengers vehicles by 2040, and set goals of reaching 10 per cent of new cars sold by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.

"We're already exceeding the 2025 target," Beckett said. 

Last year the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources said electric vehicle sales made up nine per cent of all light-duty vehicle sales in the first nine months of 2019.

One way to encourage electric vehicle adoption is to legislate the "right to charge," Beckett said.

Residents living in apartments and other multi-family complexes can be denied the ability to charge their vehicle at home, he said. Requiring that multi-family buildings allow vehicle owners to install charging infrastructure would accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, he said.

"We're not asking for free power," he added, just the right to have the changing equipment available and pay for the electricity consumption.

Beckett said demand for, and dealer support of, electric vehicles is slowly happening in the north.

"It's here, but it is lagging what is happening down south."

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