B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver and Premier John Horgan announce plan to phase out sales of carbon-fuel vehicles by 2040, October 2018. (B.C. government)

B.C. Green leader battles sound-bite storm over going zero-emission

Andrew Weaver says gasoline gouging is moving people to electric

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is digging his way out of a social media blizzard after a Vancouver radio station segment on how to cope with record gasoline prices.

He said he can’t keep up with the Twitter tags and responses he’s had since he discussed the costs of driving a conventional vehicle and the growing number of people who are moving on to transit or zero-emission options.

Did he really suggest that people take out a second mortgage to buy an electric car?

“That’s creative interpretation of what I actually said,” Weaver said in an interview at his B.C. legislature office Thursday.

A former university lecturer not given to sound-bite answers, Weaver said he laid out the options for people who are looking at enormous commuting costs, and describing electric vehicle options that are improving every year.

He does advocate that people consider borrowing to buy an electric vehicle, and installing a charger at home. Weaver took advantage of the ZAPBC program, which provides free home chargers for the cost of installation. When he’s heading up-Island from his Oak Bay home, he uses one of the expanding network of fast-charge stations that allows him to recharge in Nanaimo in 15 minutes, paying 35 cents per kilowatt-hour.

“It costs me about two bucks to go from here to Qualicum Beach,” he said.

Weaver is taking his own advice, trading in his last gasoline vehicle for a new electric SUV, which has a range of 415 km on a charge and is eligible for a provincial rebate of $5,000. These days a used electric car can be had for $15,000, and the low maintenance and battery life have been clearly demonstrated, he said.

Weaver’s other message to people looking at gasoline prices of more than $1.70 a litre is to consider the annual ritual of summer increases.

VIDEO: Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles begin to arrive in B.C.

READ MORE: Carbon tax increase funds electric vehicle subsidies

“I would suggest that the excuse of the ‘summer driving season’ leading to refinery scheduled maintenance is beginning to wear thin on me and others, as it’s beginning to look like a self-fulfilling prophesy that prices go up in the summer because of the fact that we expect them to.”

Big oil companies are increasingly shipping heavy crude down the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Washington refineries they own, then selling the fuel back to B.C. at inflated prices, a refinery markup twice as big as the rest of Canada, he said.

“To me it’s madness that we’re trying to prop up a sunset industry,” Weaver said. “And I think it’s madness that we’re not seeing this gouging as anything other than an opportunity to say, OK, enough is enough. I don’t want to participate in that.

“People can walk more. They can car pool.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Two applications for pot shops in Duncan get green light

The Original Farm and Buds and Leaves would be the city’s first marijuana stores

Baker and Barbarians take Paris World Games by storm

Duncan rugby player helps Canadian side to gold

VIDEO: Lake Cowichan council to grill Catalyst July 23 on ‘end run’ around weir pumping agreement

Councillors want community out in force at meeting to hear what’s going on with the weir

Valley field hockey players bring home gold from nationals

Cowichan U18s help Island to unprecentend first-place finish

Duncan Grande Parade draws a crowd

Entries old and new enjoyed by a big audience

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

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Nanaimo-Opoly will let board game players deal Harbour City properties

Victoria’s Outset Media and Walmart Canada partner on local edition of popular game

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

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.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Most Read