Electric vehicle charging stations at the Fraser Valley Regional District building in Chilliwack in February 2022. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Electric vehicle charging stations at the Fraser Valley Regional District building in Chilliwack in February 2022. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Fernie’s municipal fleet electrification push held back by auto industry delays

The city is on a years-long waitlist for two electric SUVs

The City of Fernie will be waiting a long time before it can add an electric vehicle to its fleet.

“We were looking at fleet electrification as we replace SUVs,” said Chief Administrative Officer Michael Boronowski.

“We’re looking at trying to replace employee vehicles that we use in day-to-day business with electric vehicles. We’ve been quoted one to two year delivery times with those, like everybody else.”

The automotive industry is currently beset with long wait times, with a global semiconductor shortage slowing production rates across the industry.

The city is on the wait list for two all-electric SUVs, a Ford Mach-E and a Hyundai Ionic. Criteria for the city to replace general duty vehicles is they must be all-wheel-drive, and have a longer range.

The Ford and Hyundai were the only two within budget, and were applied for in the last few months.

Another electric vehicle initiative, being the addition of new charging points at the Visitor Information Centre and at City Hall – have also been hit by delays.

It’s not just EV efforts – non-electric vehicle procurement is also on the fritz, with Boronowski saying the city had ordered general-duty trucks back in June 2021 that it’s still waiting on delivery for.

He said municipalities usually have a wait-time of 120 days for new vehicles. “Now we’re a year-plus (of waiting) for some vehicles with very minor customization,” he said, explaining some vehicles on order were simple vehicles like Ford F250s with minor customization’s as required for municipal duties.

READ MORE: Rising costs and longer waiting times throwing a spanner into municipal works: Fernie



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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Electric vehiclesMunicipal Government