Electric vehicle event aims to dissolve EV misconceptions

The sixth annual National Drive Electric Week celebration in Regina aimed to dissolve common misconceptions around electric cars and promote their benefits for the environment.

The Saskatchewan Electric Vehicle Association set up an educational event and celebration at the Canadian Tire in Regina’s east end on Saturday.

The association said the most common “rumours” it hears about EV’s (electric vehicles) is they cost a lot to charge and they don’t work well in the winter.

Matthew Pointer, the association’s president, said most EV’s are designed to operate in countries like Norway, meaning manufacturers are taking cold winter environments into consideration.

Pointer said his electric car loses a little bit of battery power in the extreme cold, but because it can go on the charger at night it will start every morning.

“The battery packs are actually thermally managed. So that basically means that they are heated in the wintertime on their own power and cooled in the summertime on their own power,” said Pointer. “So they take care of themselves and what that does is prevent premature derogation of the battery.”

He added that in terms of charging, it only costs about $30 to $40 a month for power, depending on how much you drive, with the installation of a charger costing about $500.

Pointer said the battery life for an EV is very long, with him not knowing anyone who has had to replace it yet.

He said that Saskatchewan also has about two-thirds of the mined materials required to make an EV battery.

“We’ve got a massive amount of lithium stores that are available here. We’ve got nickel, we’ve got cobalt and a massive amount of sunshine naturally,” Pointer said. “I think we’ve got the ability to connect all the dots and make something that is truly great here in the province.”

Brian Black is a Regina resident considering making the switch to an electric vehicle.

Black said it’s the technology that’s going to be here in the future and “likely will be buying something like this in time.”

He added the event taught him how easy EV’s are to maintain.

“Different places you can charge your vehicle are becoming more and more common as time goes on,” Black said.

The east Canadian Tire location currently has Tesla-specific charging stations, but is adding two more charging stations that will work for all EV models.

Canadian Tire said it is adding these new stations to 11 other locations across the province by the end of 2021, bringing Saskatchewan’s charging station number up to about 30.