Undoubtedly, the electric vehicle shortage is real in Squamish and beyond.
I am living it in real-time.
And I am not alone.
This month, BC Hydro released a report that said 2021, a record-breaker for EVs, would have been even more of a banner year if more were available.
The wait can be a barrier, to be sure.
Hydro’s report found “41% of those actively shopping for an EV describe the buying process as difficult.”
The Crown corp’s research found that 34% of British Columbians who want to buy an electric vehicle are hesitant because of lack of availability.
My partner and I have wanted to kick our fossil fuel addiction for many years.
And the cost of gas has always been a drag on our finances.
My partner works in the city and commutes daily, like many folks in town.
Lately, the price at the pump has been supercharged.
We have a Jeep, which drinks petrol like spectators at the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival inhale the Rotary Club’s beef-on-a-bun.
Our Mazda is better, but still, about $80 a week in gas with this month’s prices.
However, we could never make the EV math work for the vehicle we wanted until recently.
Even with the federal and provincial rebates, it was always significantly less to stick with our internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
We can do it now because we can downsize to one vehicle, saving the second insurance, fuel and maintenance costs.
We spent several months looking at dealerships locally (#supportlocal) and decided on the Chevy Bolt EUV.
It fits our needs for a commuter vehicle that will also allow us to travel down most Sea to Sky forest service roads.
But while we have a deal made and purchase order in, the car won’t be in our carport for at least three months. This is due in part, in our case, to production delays related to Chevy’s battery issues.
Of course, if we could pay more, were willing to shop outside Squamish or had a different wishlist, we might not have had to wait, or at least not as long.
We know we are lucky that, so far, the stars have aligned, and we can wait this shortage out.
We also know there are risks with moving to an EV while there are growing pains with the technology and infrastructure.
(BCHydro says it is working to have 325 fast chargers at 145 sites throughout B.C. by December 2025.)
Making a sea change is never smooth; history tells us this.
After all, electric cars were the hot thing more than 100 years ago but were usurped by ICE vehicles.
Going forward, there are likely to be as many stop-starts as electricity ‘brownouts’ in downtown Squamish lately!
But going EV, I believe, is the right road to be driving down, figuratively and literally, if we are to do our part for the environment. And goodness knows, I am looking forward to saving on gas.
Bottom line: going electric isn’t the easiest choice.
Thankfully, BCHydro’s report points to supply chain shortages easing by 2023.
In the meantime, if you are starting your EV search, BCHydro suggests looking at used vehicles. The company also has a site where you can search all available EVs in B.C. at bchydro.com/ev.
Jennifer Thuncher, Squamish Chief editor