Mainstream electric cars ‘a matter of time’ enthusiasts say during stop in North Battleford

As battery power increases and costs decrease, some see the mainstream use of electric vehicles in the not-too-distant future.

SaskEV is an electric vehicle advocacy group. On Thursday, the organization stopped at North Battleford in the Peavey Mart parking lot to show and explain electric vehicles to the curious public.

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The North Battleford stop was one on a tour that included Davidson, Regina, Prince Albert and Saskatoon. It's "drive electric week," lead organizer Jason Cruickshank said.

A full charge of the Chevrolet Bolt can allow drivers to go 380 km. Electric vehicle chargers, Cruickshank said, change at different speeds. While it depends on the models, some vehicles can charge fully overnight, although a Tesla with a 48-volt charger can charge faster than that.

A SaskEV information card noted that electric vehicle operating costs are approximately $10/500 km.

The battery on cars SaskEV brought with them is located between wheel wells and is shaped like a skateboard on the bottom of the vehicle. Cruickshank called it a "skateboard chassis."

An upcoming development for electric vehicle drivers are charging stations to be available at Petro-Canada and Canadian Tire.

Cruickshank estimated charging costs would be $15 to $20 an hour at the charging stations. When asked if the price was arbitrary, Cruickshank said “somewhat.” Some advocate for the cost to charge electric vehicles at the stations be tied to a kw/hour price, a measurement SaskPower uses when charging for electricity for utility bills.

Electric trucks include models by the company Workhorse, and Tesla is developing a Class 5 semi-truck.

The cost of electric vehicles is currently higher than gas models. On a fact sheet provided to the News-Optimist, cheaper electric vehicles on the list, such as the smart for two Coupe, Volkswagon e-Golf, and Hyundai IONIQ Electric, range from about $30,000 to $38,000. Some listed Nissan models rage from about $42,000 to $50,000.

A $5,000 federal incentive applies to some of the mentioned models.

Tesla has a model under $50,000, but other models cost upwards of $100,000.

Dave Maenz owns a Tesla, and he said savings occur in the long run.

Electric cars, Cruickshank said, are simpler mechanically and have fewer parts than gasoline cars.

2025, among those who know, Cruickshank said, is when electric vehicles are to hit price parity with gasoline vehicles.

But do the cars start in the winter? Cruickshank said everyday this past February when temperatures reached -40. But in the winter the cars use more energy to provide heat to the cabin.

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