Margaret Holm is a member of First Things First Okanagan, a community group promoting climate change awareness and solutions for a better future. Photo submitted

Column: Why your next vehicle might be electric

First Things First Okanagan column: Meeting the climate challenge

Don’t you hate the way the price of gas goes up in the summer?

The price of gas won’t matter if your next vehicle is electric. If you’ve been curious about the pros and cons of owning an electric vehicle, Burrowing Owl Winery in Oliver is hosting a solar power and electric vehicle event on April 6. Local EV vehicle dealers and private owners will have a variety of models on show.

Winery owner Jim Wyse is an early adopter of both EVs for his personal use and solar power installations for the winery. His goal is for the winery to be a net zero operation, getting all of its electricity from solar power. Wyse will be giving a talk on the solar installations at the winery at this free event.

Sally Kilburg of Summerland, who is a new Tesla owner, will be sharing her experience with her Tesla Model 3.

“I’ve been surprised by how economical it is to operate. Many charging stations are free and supercharger stations in Hope and Kelowna, cost only $15 for a full charge,” she said.

Kilburg, like others who purchase EVs in B.C., are eligible for up to $6,000 in rebates from the provincial government. While on holiday, cell phone apps show Kilburg where charging stations are located and hotel booking sites now show accommodations offering EV charging.

Chris Allen of Penticton is another person that has adopted electric with all his cars and bikes.

“I can’t believe how little it’s taken to get used to our electric vehicles. They are so simple and so nice. That’s all my daughter wants to drive since there’s no fuel cost,” he said.

The average Canadian driver will save $2,000 to $3,000 on fuel and spend about $400 on electricity. Electric motors have only one moving part and do not need oil or exhaust systems, saving hundreds of dollars a year in maintenance.

Emissions from personal vehicles are estimated to be responsible for 36 per cent of greenhouse emissions produced in the South Okanagan. Commercial and recreational vehicles contribute another 32 per cent. That’s almost 70 per cent of all fossil fuel emissions coming from vehicles. British Columbia and Canada have pledged to lower emissions significantly by 2030 and electric vehicles are a big part of the plan.

Electric bicycles are increasingly popular as are all-terrain vehicles and boats. Examples of these recreational vehicles will be on display at the April 6 event with owners and dealers providing information.

Okanagan solar panel installers will be on hand to discuss advances in photovoltaic technology and the costs of installation. Carol Suhan from Fortis will discuss home energy rebates and renovations to reduce energy use in residential buildings.

Home energy savings, electric vehicles and solar power displays and speakers will be at Burrowing Owl Vineyards from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 6. Event details can be found at

Margaret Holm is a member of First Things First Okanagan, a community group promoting climate change awareness and solutions for a better future.

To report a typo, email:

Just Posted

UPDATE: Penticton resident’s dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

Great horned owls returned to the wild in the South Okanagan

Great horned owls plucked by crows from their nest last April have been released back into the wild

Youth Wellness Gathering aims to empower, educate South Okanagan youth

The event is hosted by a non-profit located on the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) reserve July 22 & 23

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pled guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Development gives Kelowna community garden the boot

Glen Valley residents given a few days to break it down before land development

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Kelowna RCMP release video of reckless theft out of Southwest Mission

“Their tactics were anything but subtle,” states Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Most Read