Burk's Falls to be site of presentation on electric vehicles later this month

The spokesman for Climate Action Almaguin says so far seven electric vehicles (EV) will be on display outside the Armour, Ryerson and Burk's Falls Memorial Arena as part of a public meeting on electrification later this month.

Al Bottomley says a Tesla and Chevy Volt will be among the vehicles.

The climate group has been lobbying municipal councils in Almaguin this year asking them to switch their internal combustion engine vehicles to electric when it’s time to replace the existing cars and trucks.

The owners of the EVs will be at the Nov. 30 event, answering questions about how their vehicles perform and what problems, if any, they have encountered.

“And they may also take you for a ride so you can see how they feel,” Bottomley said.

Bottomley and the other members of Climate Action Almaguin have been making the case for the strong need to get off fossil fuels in order to bring down greenhouse gas emissions.

They have been holding regular protests outside post office buildings in Almaguin as a means to raise awareness how the world is destroying the environment but there are ways to reverse this damage.

Bottomley says these protests will continue.

Bottomley says electric vehicles have come a long way since they were first proposed.

Among the improvements are the batteries that power the vehicles which Bottomley says are now less expensive and provide a longer range on one charge.

He adds the Tesla owner has been keeping a record of what the electric vehicle has cost him and calculates that within seven years the Tesla will have paid for itself because the owner won't incur expenses associated with gas powered vehicles.

The vehicle display is followed by a presentation in the arena.

Bottomley says whether climate change is real or fake will not be debated.

Rather, the presentation will focus on new battery technologies, ways of getting off the grid to power your vehicles and energy storage.

Bottomley believes there's an opportunity for someone to develop a charging kit that uses solar panels as the power source.

Once charged, the kit would be used to charge the electric vehicle battery.

Bottomley says if some entrepreneur can figure out how to do something like this, it won't challenge the existing hydro grid and the individual stands to make lots of money.

Bottomley says he doesn't have an EV but is working on getting one.

He hopes that as more electric vehicles are manufactured in the United States, it gets Canada to follow the American lead with more EVs made in Canada.

He adds of the seven core members of the local climate action group, one has a Tesla and the other owns a hybrid.

The Nov. 30 meeting will also focus on the types of electric vehicles that are available, tips on how the public can take steps to reduce our carbon dioxide production and how to kickstart the RV revolution in Canada.

The outdoor presentation of the EVs with their owners will be at 6:30 p.m., followed by the presentation in the arena hall at 7 p.m.

The upcoming meeting is the first of two Bottomley and his group plan to hold.

A future meeting will address how homes and buildings can be heated with proven non-fossil fuel sources.

“We're part of the problem and we’d better be part of the solution,” Bottomley said.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget