During the current push for the automotive world to move to producing electric vehicles, the County of Simcoe is reporting success with its first fully electric fleet vehicle.
The County purchased a 2020 Hyundai Kona EV in September 2020.
“With an approximate cost of $35 in annual maintenance to date and roughly $15 per week in electrical charges to drive, this vehicle is by far the most economical and sustainable vehicle in our fleet,” said Brian Barkley, Fleet and Asset manager with the County of Simcoe. “This vehicle is typically recharged overnight, with it set to charge from 9:00 p.m. each night until 5:00 a.m. each morning. Not only is this the right choice financially, the EV is also environmentally friendly with zero emissions and greenhouse gases release into our atmosphere.”
The Kona, a four-door sedan, is able to achieve similar mileage to a gas-powered vehicle and has a range of approximately 500 kilometres per full charge.
The vehicle also takes advantage of regenerative braking to help re-power the batteries.
The vehicle is used by staff to visit County road garages, facilities, and vendors throughout the region.
The County said is plans to continue purchasing electric vehicles when cars and trucks in the fleet retire and as additional electric vehicles become more readily available and easily attainable.
There are currently four public charging stations in the region.
While the County may appreciate the affordability of an electric vehicle used as a run-about type mode of transportation, is it realistic to expect the fleet to go fully electric in the next few years?
While there has been a lot of hype in the media over the past few years regarding the switch to electric power, the reality is there isn’t the push to switch to electricity that we have been led to believe.
A search through all the major automaker websites is the first clue.
If you’re looking for a new vehicle on-line, you won’t be seeing their new EVs on full display on the first page.
Almost all the new models on most automaker websites are gas powered cars, SUVs, and trucks.
In most cases you have to really search to find a hybrid or fully electric version of a vehicle.
The electric vehicle revolution is turning out to be more talk than action.
While there are some companies currently working on fully electric trucks that could replace current heavy duty gas-powered County vehicles, the reality is that the industry just isn’t there yet.
The County may benefit from EV’s on a small scale, but a transformation to an electric fleet is still years away.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times