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

Honouring our veterans

Clearwater Remembrance Day ceremony

Last weekend on the ice

Another busy weekend at the Sportsplex

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Local author offers memoir writing seminar

Offering tips on how to organize a lifetime worth of thoughts, stories, and information

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

Most Read