Did you know that electric vehicles can help reduce emissions in the air? Electric vehicles have been promoted as part of the solution to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and reduced tailpipe emissions are an added bonus!
PGAIR’s Five- Year Strategic Plan strives to promote a community that is well informed of air quality challenges, actions, and progress. Prince George Residents can reduce major pollutants from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by adopting alternative forms of transportation. Common modes of alternative transportation in Prince George include walking, biking, and public transit. Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is also a form of alternative transportation. With no tailpipe, EVs produce no harmful greenhouse gases. The only associated emissions after production come from upstream electricity generation.
Most vehicles driven in Prince George are powered by ICEs that burn fossil fuels to create mechanical energy to drive them forward. ICE vehicles’ process of burning gas or diesel is responsible for a wide range of health- affecting pollutants. The major pollutants from ICE vehicles are:
· Particulate Matter (PM)
· Volatile Organize Compounds (VOCs)
· Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
· Carbon Monoxide (CO)
· Greenhouse gases (GHG)
· Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Prince George certainly has its share of air quality issues, with particulate matter (PM2.5) being a major concern. A local group called the Prince George Electric Vehicle Association (PG EVA) has been educating Prince George residents about EVs and the EV experience. The PG EVA had several EVs on display at Prince George Summer Fest. PGAIR was able to speak to EV owners about their experience with driving electric vehicles in Northern BC.
Here is what PGAIR learned:
There are two types of electric vehicles, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). A BEV runs entirely on electricity and must be plugged into an external source to fully recharge. A PHEV uses an electric motor and battery that can be plugged into the power grid to charge, but also has the support of an ICE: most daily commuting can be done entirely on battery power, with the gas engine kicking in for longer trips.
Here are some of the vehicles on display:
1) 2019 Zero FX ZF7.2 Motorcycle
The 2019 Zero FX ZF7.2 Motorcycle is a BEV. This EV is used to commute daily from Miworth to Prince George and back. The electric motorcycle costs about 70 cents for 100 kilometres and can get a range between 80 - 150 kilometres per a charge (depending on speed). This EV can be charged using a simple 110 V household outlet.
2) Chevy Volt
The Chevy Volt is a PHEV. This vehicle is owned by McElhanney, an engineering consulting firm in Prince George. The Prince George branch of McElhanney is the first of its branches to convert to EVs. McElhanney plans to convert their entire fleet to EVs as their older vehicles wear out.
3) Tesla Model 3 2018
The Tesla Model 3 is a BEV. This vehicle is driven in Prince George and does well on the winter roads. The top range for this EV is approximately 400 kilometres per a charge in the winter and 500 kilometers per a charge in the fall, spring, and summer. One great feature of this car includes the Tesla phone application; drivers can warm up their car without through the touch of a button on a smartphone. Since it is a fully battery powered vehicle, there are no emissions from pre-heating or idling.