Last year Vernon’s Simolo Customs Ltd. received Transport Canada approval to build its low-speed electric NXT vehicles. (Contributed)

Princeton streets get ready for a new kind of ride

Mayor writes bylaw to permit small electric vehicles in town

The streets of Princeton are getting ready to welcome small emission-free electric vehicles.

“These are really glorified golf carts, but they are more than that,” said Mayor Spencer Coyne at a recent council meeting where a bylaw to allow the vehicles was given three readings.

Coyne wrote the bylaw himself, after learning about the vehicles being welcomed in other B.C. communities.

While more common in coastal and island neighbourhoods, these electric vehicles are still relatively new to the Interior. Chase and Vernon both permit their use.

“(In other communities) it works really well,” said Coyne. “I forwarded it to (RCMP) Sgt. Rob Hughes and…he has no problems with it.”

The vehicles are approved by both upper levels of government and ICBC, stressed Coyne.

“It’s really for commuting around town,” he said.

Neighbourhood Zero Emission Vehicles (NZEVs) use electric motors and do not emit tailpipe pollutants.

The province has set a goal that by 2040 all new cars and trucks will be emission free.

Classified as low speed vehicles NZEVs must be able to attain the speed of 32 km/per/hour, but are regulated to travel at a maximum of 40 km/per/hour.

They have many of the same features as a regular car such as brake and signal lights, seat belts and mirrors.

Under the bylaw, which is awaiting final approval, the vehicles will be allowed on any street in Princeton that has a speed limit of 50 km per hour or less.

The vehicles will be allowed to cross Highway 3 only at the intersection of the highway, Burton Avenue and Vermilion Avenue. They would cross Highway 5A only its intersection with Old Hedley Road.

Travel on Bridge Street beyond the intersection of Highway 5A and Tapton Avenue to Highway 3 will be prohibited.

The vehicles would also not be permitted on Tapton Avenue or Bridge Street beyond the intersection of Highway 5A and Bridge Street.

Use of NZEVs will be prohibited from Oct. 31 to March 1 of each year.

Related: Vernon caravan charges interest in electric vehicles

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.