She loves cars and she loves the planet: how this auto mechanic goes green!

Cowichan auto shop is a finalist for ‘Black Tie’ Green Business Award

Elly Ruge has embraced eco-friendly initiatives at Cowichan Auto Repair.

Elly Ruge has embraced eco-friendly initiatives at Cowichan Auto Repair.

When you think of a car shop you may picture grit, grime, and gas-guzzlers. Elly from Cowichan Auto Repair also wants you to think GREEN.

She’s implemented many eco-friendly initiatives over the last few years, and now the auto shop is nominated for a Green Business Award through the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce Black Tie Awards.

“We’re humbled to be a finalist, and thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of the steps we’ve taken,” Elly says. “We know that when it comes to being Green, there’s always more that you can do.”

  • Helping drivers get used to green technologies: Cowichan Auto Repair has a fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles available for drivers curious about the new technology. “We have a Nissan Leaf and a Tesla for courtesy rides, to bring customers to and from the shop. Of course everyone wants to use my Tesla as a loaner, but we have a fleet of Prius hybrids for that!” Elly says. Customers can also try Cowichan Auto Repair’s two electric bikes while their car is in the shop. “They’re really fun bikes, and customers are welcome to take one for a spin around town to see what it’s like.” If you already own an electric or plug-in hybrid, use the Cowichan Auto Repair EV charging stations for a free charge.
  • Carbon-neutral: “We’re Green for the benefit of everyone, and for the planet,” Elly says. The shop purchases carbon offset credits and uses BullFrog Power to remain carbon-neutral. “The nature of our business means we’re using gasoline and hydropower to run our shop. Buying carbon credits is the responsible way for us to mitigate our footprint and keep the planet Green.”
  • Fuel-efficient car maintenance: Cowichan Auto Repair is the only shop on Vancouver Island that offers hybrid battery repairs, which keeps batteries out of the landfill and makes owning a hybrid even easier. They also offer hyper-mile tune-ups and low rolling resistance tires for gas and diesel vehicles, improving fuel efficiency for drivers and reducing carbon emissions for the planet. To encourage better driving habits, customers can have Cowichan Auto Repair install a TrackSafe GPS, which uses motion sensors and better route planning to help drivers burn less fuel.
  • Dry, energy-efficient shop: There are no drains at Cowichan Auto Repair; as a dry shop, all engine oil, coolant and other dirty fluids are collected and taken to the proper recycling plants. “In 2018 we made a few small but significant changes, like upgrading to motion sensor LED lights and switching to an eco-friendly heat pump, which led to a 79 per cent reduction in electricity,” Elly says.

Visit Cowichan Auto Repair at 5275 Trans-Canada Highway/Chaster Road in Duncan to get a closer look at the green fleet, and follow them on Facebook! To make an appointment call 778-422-3100, or visit cowichanautorepair.com.

Auto Repair and MaintenanceEnvironmentGreen Living

Just Posted

Police presence in Chemainus in an actual building is limited to South Island Highway Patrol on Chemainus Road. (Photo by Pete Cavanaugh)
Petition calls for policing commitment in Chemainus to be honoured

Former detachment member leads the charge in making the municipality and RCMP accountable

Khowhemun Elementary is one of two Cowichan Valley schools that announced possible COVID-19 exposures last week. (Google Street View image)
Two Cowichan Valley schools announce possible COVID-19 exposures

Positive tests at Khowhemun, Quamichan; Superstore confirms more cases

Members of the 4-H Horse Club enjoy the annual horse camp at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds. (submitted)
Farm Credit Canada supports Cowichan 4-H club with cash

On the list of recipients is the Cowichan 4-H Horse Club out of Cobble Hill.

Flanked by CVOLC staff members Kevin van der Linden, Nate Boersen, Lisa Kellar and Neil Ellingson, Ryan Linehan receives his Student of the Month award from Rotary representatives Gregg Perry and Kim Barnard. 
(Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley Open Learning Collective ‘ambassador’ named Student of the Month

Ryan Linehan earns award for demonstrating natural leadership

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Most Read