Golf course owner opts for electric shuttle

It’s small, it’s eye-catching and most importantly, it’s electric.

Golf course owner is the first to try out the town’s slow (read electric) vehicle bylaw

Golf course owner is the first to try out the town’s slow (read electric) vehicle bylaw



It’s small, it’s eye-catching and most importantly, it’s electric.

Just over two years after the Town of Qualicum Beach adopted a bylaw to allow the use of low speed electric vehicles on town streets, a resident and businesses owner in the community took advantage of the concept.

“I think it just makes sense,” said Craig Dutton, owner of Pheasant Glen Golf Resort in Qualicum Beach.

“I see it as a way of meeting the goals of sustainability that we have here in the community of Qualicum and I also see it as an incredible business opportunity and economic development opportunity for Qualicum and Oceanside.”

Dutton bought his electric vehicle — otherwise known as a neighbourhood electric vehicle (NEV) — from a company in Surrey called Electric Car British Columbia.

Unlike an electric car, which drives full speed and has no driving restrictions, Dutton’s’ NEV can drive up to 42 kilometres per hour and is allowed on Qualicum Beach streets that have posted speeds of 50 km per hour or less.

He believes the adoption of the bylaw will prove to be a good thing for his golf course in the coming years, as he is proposing a shuttle from town to the course, using a similar vehicle.

He also thinks the zero-emission vehicles are a great way to connect the town’s golf courses and he has some other ideas which could include local seniors’ facilities and Kwalikum Secondary School.

“I just think this thing will carry us as far as our political will and leadership in the community will take us,” he said, adding he can’t drive anywhere without people stopping him and inquiring about the vehicle.

Dutton was the first person to make use of the town’s new electric vehicle charging stations on Friday, recently installed in Town Hall’s underground parking lot.

Qualicum Beach Councillor Barry Avis welcomed Dutton and his new ride.

“This is good that you have your vehicle here,” said Avis.

“But the town for the last couple years has had this on our sight plan,” he said.

Avis said the town has been working hard to increase sustainability in the area with things like trail systems and promoting electric bicycles, and shortly it will add two municipal electric vehicles to this list.

Chief administrative officer for the town Mark Brown said this includes the Nissan Leaf, set to arrive in the summer, but won’t be available to buy in Canada until the following year. Another municipal electric vehicle will be unveiled on Valentine’s Day at town hall, Brown said.

Randy Holmquist, owner of Canadian Electric Vehicles in Errington, said business has grown substantially over the last few years.

Holmquist has been running the company for 20 years, over half of that time in Errington. His company makes electric utility trucks, electric tow units and conversion kits.

Although in the past he has been exporting the majority of his vehicles to countries like Dubai, Australia, China, Japan and the United States, he’s beginning to see sales to Canada increase, he said, especially with his NEV the Might-E-Truck.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in Canada,” he said.  “Luckily we’ve had the rest of the world to carry us through to now, and now Canada’s catching up.”

Holmquist said they are currently building two trucks for a municipality on the West Coast of the Island and have sold others to Tofino, Colwood and Alert Bay.

He said every time the price of fuel goes up, his phone rings more frequently, as it did with last week’s fuel hike.

Dutton is happy for now being the only one cruising Qualicum’s streets in an electric vehicle, but with all the interest he’s seen over the last week, he’s sure it’s only a matter of time before other residents and other municipalities catch the electric buzz.

“I think this will be so positive that other places will follow Qualicum Beach’s lead and I think we’ll end up seeing these things all over the Island.” 

 For more information on Canadian Electric Vehicles in Errington visit www.canev.com or call 250-954-2230.

Just Posted

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue logo on the back of a service vehicle. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville and Qualicum Beach provide letters of support for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue

ASAR asks for increase in funding, one-time capital grant and for RDN to buy out current facility

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

Most Read