Well, the Clean Energy Vehicle incentives have returned. I am slightly bitter, since the program was
cancelled ran out of funds in February of 2014 and I couldn’t buy my electric vehicle until at least April. It was ridiculous of the government to sit on their thumbs for a year and put a few hundred early adopters at a future disadvantage in the used car market; but nonetheless, I think it is a good program to help EVs and PHEVs get on their feet so am happy to see it return.
The program came back into effect on April 1, 2015 – you can find all the details at the CEVforBC.ca website.
I do plan to show the effect this would have for someone looking to buy a new car when I post my ongoing cost data update for February and March of 2015. My first cost data post that covers cost data from May 2014 to January 2015 can be found here. Expect the next cost post sometime this Easter long weekend. Update: my second cost update included the analysis alluded to above – you can read it here.
More exciting for me though (and other existing EV owners) – I received my regular BC Hydro update email yesterday and this article contained great news, they plan to dramatically expand the Level 3 (Quick Charger) network this year!
The article included a link to a Google Map that showed the locations of existing and future planned stations – I was pretty excited to see that the network extends east along the Trans Canada (Highway 1) to Revelstoke, as far east as Osoyoos on the Crowsnest (Highway 3), and up through the Okanagan. We are already planning future trips that will be enabled by this improvement in infrastructure 🙂
As an example, I’ve included a screenshot of my spreadsheet for trip planning for driving to Merritt for the trip today, and the trip of the future, hopefully later in 2015!
Travel and charge time are reduced by 3.3 and 3 hours respectively. Notice the huge amount of time spent charging at Level 1 though… what would the trip length be like if Grand Forks and Midway had Level 2 charging available?
Much better! Even without the Level 3 improvements, it would drop travel time by over 5 hours, and total charging time by 12.5! You would still have to stop somewhere for the night to sleep however, since if you tried to do it in one day, it would take 17 hours. But adding the announced Level 3 chargers into the picture, the trip is now down to a manageable 13.5 hours with 8 hours of that spent charging.
Notice the one glaring trip oddity? Why am I driving through Rossland instead of Castlegar for all these trip plans? Well, for some reason, Castlegar has elected not to install a Level 2 charger at this time, despite winning a free EVSE years ago at a trade-show – hurry up and install it already or donate it to a local business who looks to the future.
Anyways, one day I expect we will have Level 3 chargers in Midway, Grand Forks and Castlegar…
Trip time would be down by a further 6 hours, with only 2.5 hours spent charging. With our kids, we take about that much time in breaks already over a 500+ km trip.
Dare to dream! How about it government and private industry, can we get this done by 2018?
In the meantime, a big thank you to BC Hydro and the government for working to expand Level 3 charger coverage – having sufficient quick chargers is what will enable the eventual switch from gasoline cars to EVs.
Now about that gap between the Okanagan and the Kootenays…..