Upcoming "Plug-in-Challenge" promotes Electric Vehicle Use

The Victoria Electric Vehicle Club (VEVC) is hosting it's inaugural Plug-in-Challenge this spring.

From May 17 to 26, participants will hit the streets in their electric vehicles and visit businesses and locations around Victoria on a scavenger hunt.

VEVC Board of Directors member, Julian Sale, says the event is a way to promote people driving electric vehicles, support local businesses, and encourage changes to infrastructure.

"One of the critical factors for expanding electric vehicle adoption, is to make sure people are acclimatized to the idea of our local residents driving electric vehicles.  So if you want an electric vehicle owner, or a potential EV owner to be more likely to make the switch, it's important for them to see that the infrastructure exists."

He says 90 percent of charging is done at home, but many buildings don't have the capability to charge, and if businesses could upgrade their facilities to create charging stations, it would promote owning an electric car, and really benefit their staff.

"If they can't charge at home, then the only way for them to access an electric car is to have workplace charging, so they can plug it in and charge it every day.  Which means the boss or the owner, the building owner or whoever is going to give up somewhere between 50 cents or $2 a day as a staff perk, but that would allow that employee to take up electric vehicle ownership, and adopt a cleaner lifestyle."

He says there are over 5,000 electric vehicle drivers on Southern Vancouver Island, and new public charging stations would help draw those people in as customers, as well as make it easier for employees to own an electric vehicle. 

On the morning of the launch, participants in the Plug in Challenge will be given a notebook and 10 clues to unscramble, which will direct them to local businesses.  There they will find a decal with a code and a new clue, and they will have to keep track of the locations and codes.  Sale says that the VEVC is encouraging people to get on social media when they get to the stops, and use that as a chance to promote the local business.  

At the end of the week, the VEVC will collect the notebooks and determine the winners.  There will be prizes for the top places, with the grand prize being a heavy-duty EV home charger valued at $1000.  They will also give out electric landscaping and yard tools, as well as gift certificates to local businesses.

To register for the Plug-in-Challenge, you can visit the Victoria Electric Vehicle Club's website

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