What’s it like to drive an electric vehicle?

High price of fossil fuels, low cost of electricity just adds to the fun of EV ownership

If you’re an electric vehicle owner, it must be difficult these days not to feel a bit smug about what you’re driving.

Doug Beckett gets that feeling every time he goes past a gas station. With some Prince George retailers charging $2.18 per liter and no end in sight to the outrageously high cost of fossil fuels, Beckett is thankful he never has to drop a dime at a conventional filling station.

He doesn’t need deep pockets to charge the battery of his 2016 Nissan Leaf. One complete charge on his home charger costs him the equivalent of about 25 cents per litre.

“I don’t even pay attention, I don’t look at the price of gas,” Beckett said. “I just enjoy my quiet drive listening to the radio.

“When I leave home I’ve got a full tank, and there’s lots of places around town now where you can charge, and many of them are still free.”

Charging stations are popping up all over the province and technology continues to decrease the required charging times. Beckett says the new 250-kilowatt Tesla super stations, like the one off Highway 16 near the Canadian Brewhouse, can provide car batteries with enough juice in one seven-minute charge to create 200 kilometers of range. The more commonly found 50-kilowatt stations require overnight hookups to fully charge a car.

The new Tesla Model S has a range of 652 kilometers and it takes just 15 minutes for a charge that will take you half that distance.

Beckett knows the high cost of gasoline and diesel is making a convincing argument for motorists to seek alternates and he’s always willing to spout the merits of going electric to people who ask him about his car.

“I’ve seen a lot more used low-range electric vehicles like my Leaf in town,” he said. “As a second vehicle in a family you could be saving $3,000 to $5,000 a year in fuel driving a vehicle you buy for $9,000. If you see those old low-range electrics, those people are doing to probably because of economics, and that’s what I’m doing.”

As one of the founding members of the Prince George Electric Vehicle Association, Beckett is hoping curiosity-seekers will attend his group’s next monthly gathering/open house in the parking lot of Rivers Edge Services at 3981 18th Ave., next Tuesday from 6:30 -7:30 p.m.

Beckett encourages anyone who owns an electric or hybrid vehicle, whether it’s a car, truck, ATV, motorbike, scooter, snowmobile or e-bike to bring what they have to event. He’s seen several EV owners driving around the city in vehicles like the new Ford Lightning pickup trucks, the Rivian adventure vehicles and the Hyundai IONIQ 5 passenger cars and he’d to find out what they and other electrics are like to drive.

Motivated by a need to address air quality issues in Prince George, Beckett’s first EV he started driving in 2009 was a 1991 GMC Sonoma pickup converted to electric with a kit installed by students at the automotive shop at the College Heights Secondary School.

Electric vehicle owners will be at the gathering to share their experiences and will also take visitors out for test drives. For someone who has never felt the silent sports car-like torque of a Tesla, or the unnerving-but-cool aspect of letting a car equipped with a self-driving option steer and power itself around a corner, it’s an experience you won’ you soon forget.

The PGEVA group, which formed in 2009, plans to meet on the second Tuesday of each month at the Rivers Edge site. For more information, call Doug at 1-250-560-5556 or email doug.beckett@ev.princegeorge.tech.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.