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2017 starts with a bang!

We are just barely into 2017 and there have been a number of interesting happenings in the electric vehicle (EV) space – I thought I would take a moment to list some of the items that caught my eye, and to list some plans for the blog this year.  The best so far?  Fast chargers are coming to the Kootenays!!

Yes, that’s right, no longer will the Kootenay region have to feel left out from the growing DCFC (direct current fast charger) network in BC!  The Community Energy Association has been working behind the scenes to coordinate a dramatic expansion to EV charging in the Kootenays (up to 50 units!)  It will consist of both DCFC units and Level 2 charging (go to my Charging page to learn the difference).  (Update in April:  accelerate Kootenays website is now live!)

In other awesome local news, I discovered in early January that the Kootenay Co-op had installed two Level 2 charging stations in the parkade of the brand-new Nelson Commons building.  Nelson now has public charging, yay!

The first Chevrolet Bolts (new EV hatchback with 380 km range) have been sold in Canada, and Nissan has strongly hinted at an imminent announcement for version 2 of the Leaf (update in March:  Nissan has confirmed next gen unveiling in September 2017), which will likely have similar range to the Bolt.  Tesla held an information session at the Gigafactory in Nevada, announcing that they are now starting to build their next generation cells, which will go into the upcoming (late 2017) Model 3 (and the car after that, the Y); more interestingly, they showed further details on how the manufacturing facility itself is planned to be powered by a 70 MW solar array, and it also has a wide-range of other environmental best-practices, including water conservation/re-use, and battery recycling facilities onsite.

The Scrap-It program unveiled increased incentives this week – now you can get $6,000 for ANY car you scrap towards the purchase of a new EV!  Used EVs also get a $3,000 incentive.  Including the still-running Clean Energy Vehicle for BC program, that is $11,000 more you could get off the price of a car than I got in May of 2014.  (I’m slightly jealous!)

And last for this general update, the BC gov’t has added another few categories of “special – use” EVs that get incentives now, some low-speed vehicles, buses, that kind of thing.

Some of my blog post plans and projects happening this year:

  • We’ll take a look at lifecycle emissions of electric vehicles and calculate some values specific to our region
  • I will finish editing and post a video of an EVenture daytrip from Nelson north to Kaslo, over to New Denver and back (update in March:  finished!)
  • Another secret video project which I am very excited to be a part of (update in April:  here it is!)
  • Hopefully a personal EVenture update on the Nelson to Vancouver journey, now that most of it is covered by the DCFC network
  • An article on electrified buses
  • And a side-trip into the world of sailing, solar power, and electric outboards

And last, if you have frequented my site in the past, you will note that I have added a Patreon link on the site.  Currently I research, crunch my data, and add content as time allows, and pay for the hosting costs out of pocket.  I had hoped that the ads would passively cover at least the cost of hosting the website, but that has not occurred.  Anyways, this obviously isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, I largely do the website because I love it.  However, it would be nice for it to be self-sustaining.

I know I had a hard time finding quality content on EVs while researching my prospective purchase, and I hope this site fills some of that void.  So if this site has helped tip you to buying an EV (or not, maybe the time isn’t right for your situation yet), and you feel it has been worth something, consider providing a ‘tip’ via Patreon.

Cheers to a constructive and joyous 2017 to all our readers.


kootenay andrew
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7 thoughts on “2017 starts with a bang!”

  1. Thanks for your dedication to this blog, Andrew. I felt exactly the same way (“I know I had a hard time finding quality content on EVs while researching my prospective purchase…”) which is why I started my blog too. I also know how much work and how much time it takes to put posts together! So kudos to you for doing it; there aren’t many of us with BC-based blogs on EVs. 🙂

  2. It’s interesting to read the fine print on the Scrap It and the EV Rebate programs. Both apply only to vehicles priced at less than $77k MSRP. Sadly, until the Bolt is actually available, the Tesla Model S and X are the only BEV’s with enough range to fully replace an ICE for daily use. And big surprise, they start at above that $77k cutoff. Volvo XC90 is priced just under that number. The Cadillac, before it was discontinued, also fit just under. When the rebate program extension was announce last year, Christy arrived dramatically at the press gathering with the president of the New Car Dealers Association of BC, in a Volt. The fix was in. If it can’t be bought via the corrupt dealer network, the rebate and cash back won’t apply.

    When I pushed my MLA for answers on this, the response was “if someone can afford a Tesla, they don’t need rebates”. Dumb. So many of us mortgaged ourselves to the max to get into a Tesla. It was for the right reasons and we also paid full luxury tax!

  3. Your blog is great. The info has been helpful. Love the spreadsheets. And thanks for the ‘demo’ a couple weeks ago. We took advantage of the new $6k Scrap-It rebate, and are now proud owners of a Leaf. On the weekend I proved that it is possible to drive from Victoria to Trail in the middle of a snowstorm, in an EV.

    Thanks again.

    1. Hey awesome to hear that your trip was successful! Congrats on the new Leaf! Which colour did you end up with? (I really like that dark blue colour, but it wasn’t available in 2014)

  4. I am waiting for the Nissan Rogue EV for my next EV. Just heard rumors so not sure if it is even in the planning stage. Love my leaf but need a vehicle for winter driving. Sold my Nissan Maxima for 3500$ when I bought the leaf, should have kept it for the $6000 future rebate. Have you ever taken a trip to Spokane in your leaf from Nelson?

    1. I’m fairly certain there will be an electrified Rogue or Qashqai in the near-ish future – might not be a pure EV though. The $6000 Scrap-it incentive has a maximum limit of about 500; they have a counter on their page I have not travelled to Spokane, and it looks like (from Plugshare) that stopping at campgrounds would be the only way to bridge the gap, since the last public charger before Spokane is in Trail.

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