An electric car charges in B.C. (Black Press Media files)

70% of B.C. drivers say road trips keep them from buying electric cars: survey

But most electric cars can handle average road trip lengths in B.C.

Concerns about the range of electric vehicles and a lack of charging stations is keeping British Columbians from buying electric cars, according to a BC Hydro report released Friday.

The report found that 70 per cent of those surveyed wouldn’t want to buy an electric vehicle because they were worried about taking it on a road trip. Of the 30 per cent who would take an electric vehicle on a road trip, would “hesitate” because of concerns over the range and availability of charging stations.

But despite their concerns, the survey found that most British Columbians keep their road trips under 300 kilometres, well within the range of most modern electric vehicles. In addition, BC Hydro said it has charging stations on the most popular routes – as listed by Destination BC – including Vancouver to Kelowna, Victoria to Tofino, Abbotsford to Whistler, Kamloops to Vancouver and Cranbrook to Revelstoke.

The range of modern electric vehicles. (BC Hydro)

Even among those making 300 kilometre plus road trips in a gasoline-powered car, 75 per cent make extra stops for bathrooms breaks, 50 per cent make stops for food or to see landmarks and 40 per cent stop just to stretch their legs.

BC Hydro said 80 per cent of their charges are within 50 metres of food, washrooms or other shopping.

There are 58 BC Hydro Level 3 chargers, which can charge a car to 80 per cent in 3o minutes, across B.C., with 26 more to be added by the end of 2019. BC Hydro said there are an additional 200 fast chargers installed by third parties around B.C., along with 1,000 slow charging stations across the province.

ALSO READ: Looking at buying an electric car? New federal rebates kick in May 1

ALSO READ: Electric cars are 80% cheaper to fuel than gas vehicles: BC Hydro

ALSO READ: B.C. Hydro powering up for more electric vehicle charging demand


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