Electric vehicle event in Fredericton draws crowd as gas prices hit record-highs
People in the Fredericton area were able to get a first-hand look at a range of electric vehicle models at an event in the city Sunday.
The event, coordinated by the New Brunswick EV Owners and other stakeholder organizations in the city, came at a time when many are struggling with the rising cost of gas prices.
“Since last year, it has been a 200 per cent increase in electric vehicle growth. EVs (electric vehicles) coming into the province is a bit of a challenge right now, but its not the province, its right across Canada," said Diane Robichaud, the business development specialist at NB Power.
"So, there will be, as more models come on the market, we will be seeing more come into the province and the demand is really driving that."
Many electric vehicle models are backordered and waitlisted, but demand to own one is still growing.
"We are in the market for an electric vehicle, we've been having trouble finding them," said Jennifer Wells, who is interested in purchasing an electric vehicle. "You can do all the internet searches online you want, you can read all about it, but it's not like seeing them and sitting in them."
Depending on makes and models, the waitlist could be years, according to one shopper.
"I lucked out,” said Charlotte Hill, who is waiting for her electric vehicle to arrive in New Brunswick.
“A lot of people are on a waitlist ahead of me. I'm waiting for a Bolt actually, and so, they had two on the way to the store and I was able to vouch for one of those because I wasn't picking out trim and colour and things like that. So, mine is coming right away in June. I've only had to wait two months but other people are still on the list and theirs haven't even been built yet,” Hill added.
With the rising price of gas, many people attended Sunday's event to see what it had to offer.
"The price of gas is really increasing right now and I have a lot of family in Quebec, so we're going back and forth a lot, so it's really about the price of gas so that it can be cheaper for us,” said Nadia Matte-Giasson.
Those who already own electric vehicles say the savings are worth it.
"I feel great because on our Tesla app, it actually shows us in the last 21 days I've saved over $300 in fuel prices, even with the charging that I've done,” said Marty Hood, who owns a Tesla.
Owners say charging stations have come a long way, but there's still room for improvement.
Tom McLean has driven an electric vehicle for eight years.
"There’s an app for that, of course, because there's not as many charging stations as there are gas stations,” said McLean, a moderator of the New Brunswick EV Owners Facebook group, which helped organize Sunday's event.
Impacts on the environment brought out one organization who advocates for cleaner air.
"Gas powered vehicles obviously have tailpipe emissions... that are bad for our health, particularly bad for our lungs, which, as the lung association, we think is really valuable,” said Alyse Wilton, with The New Brunswick Lung Association.
NB Power offers up to $5,000 in rebates on both electric vehicles and home charging stations.
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