The more electric vehicles, the better
Re: letter Jim Bergot ‘s letter ‘Don’t subsidize green energy’ (The NEWS, March 25).
In his letter, Bergot laments the fact that users of Qualicum Beach’s electric vehicle chargers do not pay for their electricity. In fact, I believe no EV user is foolish enough to believe that won’t change. Already, one must tap a valid credit card to unlock the charger for use, and in my humble opinion, governments will not let that tax source go untapped for very long.
I do sympathize with Bergot, however, because his typical refill of gas costs $65, which implies a large vehicle such as a pick-up or large SUV. If that monster has to be refilled two or more times per month, his annual fuel bill must be painful indeed.
If we knew our provincial government was spending our taxes wisely, we could take some comfort, but Gordon Campbell’s insistence — and Christy Clark’s agreement — to subsidizing the disastrous run-of-the-river fiasco has put Hydro so far into the red, they are having to raise rates precipitously. And I won’t even get into the lack of infrastructure maintenance or the smart meters that seem to alienate so many users.
But please note this: the public EV chargers in Qualicum Beach are nominally 6 kW machines. BC Hydro’s website claims our rates are second lowest in Canada, at 8.91 cents/kWh. If I charged our Nissan Leaf for one hour, the cost to Qualicum Beach would be less than 53 cents.
When the new rates increase 40 per cent, that would still be less than 75 cents. Now if I visited the drug store, the grocery store and a local restaurant, the taxes I pay would cover that and a lot more. And why do I shop in Qualicum Beach? Because I find the EV charger a strong incentive to go here rather than Parksville or Courtenay, who do not have conveniently-located chargers.
At this time, Nanaimo has the only fast charger this side of Duncan, and they wisely placed it in their downtown core, as will Qualicum Beach. The only time we have had to wait in line for a charger was for that one. However, it only took a few minutes for the previous car to finish charging. I predict that such a unit will draw many EV users off the highway and out of nearby communities into our downtown. For the sake of future generations, I just wish there were more of us.