LETTER – Wealth not a pre-requisite for electric vehicle ownership

Dear editor,

Letter writer Terry Chaney mixes two issues, environmental concern and income, in her criticism of Courtenay council’s support for EV charging stations (Giving rich people free electric car charging is money poorly spent, July 4). Although early EVs were expensive with short diving distance, prices are dropping and range is increasing. The most-sold EV is the Nissan Leaf with a starting price under $40,000. The BC Hydro website shows nine EV or pluggable hybrid electric vehicles under $40,000. Those are not being bought by the $100,000+ earners.

Many EV buyers are not wealthy. They sacrifice in other aspects of their lives to afford the extra cost of an EV expressly to reduce GHG emissions in concern for climate change. It is important that society support moves in that direction.

Most EV owners pay their own way, charging at home, not at the level 2 stations contemplated by council. When travelling they seek public stations to get them on their way. I am frequently in the Comox Valley in my EV, almost 200 km from my home charger. If the Comox Valley wishes to attract environmentally aware visitors, we need to know that we can get home by having access to public chargers.

Affordable housing, mental health, schools, health care… all of these require attention and funding. Support for these should come from a progressive income tax system in which the wealthy, who can afford to pay taxes, are taxed appropriately. Then, if the wealthy are among those who get some kWhs of electricity, we will know that they have paid for it with their taxes.

Don’t weaken the Comox Valley by denying environmentally responsible visitors the opportunity to recharge their cars while they “recharge their lives” visiting this beautiful area.

Ernie Gorrie,

Cowichan Bay

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