Tesla cars are loaded onto carriers at the Tesla electric car plant in Fremont, Calif. on May 13, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has pummelled Canada's automobile industry but it's the lack of supply that's short-circuiting electric vehicle adoption across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ben Margot

Fernie encouraged to adopt formal electric vehicle policy

The City of Fernie has been recommended to change its fleet replacement policy to bring in more EVs

The City of Fernie has been encouraged to formalize the process by which more environmentally friendly vehicles are added to the city’s fleet.

In a presentation at a City of Fernie Committee of the Whole meeting, Megan Lohmann of the Community Energy Association recommended the city adopt a fleet replacement policy that “explicitly maps out the opportunity to start to transition electric vehicles into the fleet.”

She also recommended the city consider adopting a broader EV strategy to future-proof municipal infrastructure.

Lohmann pointed out that advances in EV technology in the last few years meant EVs were becoming more attractive in general, and the proliferation of the technology in other sectors of the automotive market – such as in trucks and special-use vehicles (like Zamboni’s) – meant that municipalities like the City of Fernie would benefit.

Lohmann’s presentation – which was an EV 101 – was in response to queries raised in a prior council meeting on electric vehicles.

Also covered was how municipalities could play a role in furthering EV uptake and paving the way for better infrastructure, where the City of Fernie could seek funding to back a move to a more EV-friendly fleet and city infrastructure, costs associated with that infrastructure and the general rationale behind the adoption of more EVs within the city and society in general.

Lohmann said that when it came to city municipal roles and responsibilities, local governments were front and centre on enabling, shaping and supporting choice when it came to EV.

“You have the opportunity to enable choice of the public and of your own fleet through infrastructure decisions – whether it’s public or private or municipal infrastructure. You also have the opportunity to shape choices through policy and regulation, and then through support – so education, outreach and leadership.”

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