Sask. electric vehicle owners push to see more EVs on the road

Albert Chubak is a self-proclaimed Volkswagen guy, but thought he'd take the chance to ride around in a Tesla during SaskEV's Drive Electric Earth Day Saturday.

The event at Western Development Museum is meant to promote and display the local growing EV (electric vehicle) community.

"My first thing was to look for the engine,” he said. “We open up the back (and) there’s nothing there. we open up the front (and) there’s nothing there. Well, where’s the battery? Where’s any of this stuff?”

Malcolm Lucy, president of SaskEV, said Saskatchewan still has some ground to make up compared to other provinces with more electric vehicles on the road, he says the EV landscape has changed drastically in the four years he's owned his Tesla.

"Four years ago they were seen as niche and rare to find. Now they’re plentiful on our streets,” Lucy said.

Chubak was blown away by the power from his quick ride along. He said it made the Audi he used to feel like a Ford Model T.

"The power was unbelievable. I’ve been in Porsches that were fast. This was really fast,” he said.

EV owner Tyler Krause said Chubak isn’t alone in that regard. The power is just one of the many things about EVs people are unaware of in Saskatchewan.

The four main misconceptions Krause and Lucy detailed were electric vehicles not working in Saskatchewan’s harsh winters, lack of available charging stations and a minor impact on the climate.

All of those points which were once true have now become dated. While electric vehicles aren’t able to travel as far in winter, they still operate. Charging stations are available in roughly 20 communities across the province, and according to SaskPower, EVs lower emissions by 30 per cent compared to a typical combustion engine vehicle.

Krause says as SaskPower continues to revamp the province's electrical grid, EVs will become common on Saskatchewan’s roads.

"As the grid becomes cleaner, that number will only increase as SaskPower introduces more sustainable energy,” he said.

While SaskPower’s website says there are roughly 1,200 electric vehicles in Saskatchewan as of 2021, SaskEV can celebrate winning over at least one more person.

"I thought I was just going to see the introduction of electric motors. I didn't think I would be witnessing a whole change of cars I hadn't experienced,” Chubak said.