One of the cars that will be on display at the information session is owned by the Living Room Pharmacy in Courtenay. Photo by Scott Strasser

Comox Valley sustainability group to host info session on electric vehicles

Four electric vehicles will be on display and their owners will answer questions about owning them

As the price of gasoline reaches a four-year high in B.C., a Comox Valley group is touting the benefits of hybrid cars and electric vehicles.

The Sustainability Action Group for the Environment (SAGE) will host an information session on electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids on Wednesday, May 9 at the Comox United Church.

Four EV owners who live in the Comox Valley will be on hand to answer questions about their cars, which include a Nissan Leaf, a Prius Hybrid, a Smart electric car (used as a business vehicle), and a Tesla electric car.

SAGE founder and team lead Helen Boyd said the information session aims to raise interest and awareness of sustainability issues in the Comox Valley, and dispel myths associated with EVs.

“We realize many people in the public might not know about electric vehicles, and might be intimidated or have questions they may not feel comfortable asking a dealer,” she said.

The information session will include presentations on each vehicle and a question and answer period. Afterward, attendees can speak to the owners and check out their vehicles in the church parking lot.

“For people to actually see the vehicles and look inside. They might be curious about trunk space, or a variety of things,” said Boyd. “It’s a very hands-on kind of workshop we’re putting on.”

Boyd predicts attendees’ questions will include the upfront, maintenance, and servicing costs of owning an EV, how charging them works, where drivers can charge them in the Valley, and what range vehicles get between charges.

“For us, it’s the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and electric vehicles are certainly one way of doing so,” she said. “These vehicles offer relief from the costs of gasoline… and an opportunity to move away from fossil fuel use.”

Boyd said the information session will also present information on long-term cost savings of owning EVs and the provincial and federal government incentives that are available for electric vehicle buyers.

She mentioned how in February, the federal government announced a $4.3 million investment towards EV infrastructure, and that the B.C. government offers rebates for purchasing electric vehicles.

“I think people in the long-term think their cost savings…are significant enough that they get back the value of their expenditure,” she said.

The May 9 information session is open to the public and takes place at the Comox United Church, at 250 Beach Drive. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is by donation.

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