Highlanders test drive EVs

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Abbey Gardens gave community members the opportunity to test drive three different electric vehicles along with Plug ‘N Drive July 15.

Plug ‘N Drive is a non-profit organization that helps educate people about electric vehicles. They are sponsored in part by the car manufacturers. Ambassadors talk to people about EV concerns, such as range, that would potentially stop people from purchasing an EV.

Plug ‘N Drive’s ambassador, Dean Van Hooydonk, said, “a lot of these cars go 300500 kilometres today, which makes them very efficient when driving them in and around Haliburton.”

A large crowd turned out for the event this past Saturday.

John Smith, a proud EV owner, said “It’s fantastic, the convenience of being able to charge my car at home and not having to worry about where the next gas station is.”

Smith said he had always driven a pickup truck before purchasing his EV, and it’s easy to find charging stations around Minden and Haliburton.

Wayne Rose took a test drive. “This was my first time driving one (EV) and I was extremely pleased. And the power of it was incredible and has better pickup than my Mustang does.”

Van Hooydonk said there are three levels of charging stations. The most common is level two as it allows for overnight charging. Most people install this at their home. The EV ambassador said energy usage is comparable to a dryer or stove.

Since May of 2019, the Canadian Government has launched an incentive of up to $5,000 off the purchase of a fully electric or plug-in hybrid EV. The average annual savings on fuel and maintenance is around $2,000 per year, Van Hooydonk said. Another benefit of EVs is they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent.

For more information on electric vehicles and Plug ‘N Drive: plugndrive.ca.