Message from our Board Chair,
Jonathan Ho

As the Manager of Energy and Sustaibility with the Richmond School District (No. 38) I had the opportunity to attend the Educational Facility Managers Association (EFMA) annual conference in Penticton. I drove my new electric vehicle, using Highway 3 to get to the conference from the lower mainland.

When I make the drive from Metro Vancouver to Penticton, I can choose between the Coquihalla or Highway 3.  It’s a beautiful drive no matter which route you take, and it always reminds me about how big our province is.  But this year, I decided to take Highway 3.  Why?  It’s 20 km shorter than via the Coquihalla, an important consideration when test driving my new Subaru Solterra, on its maiden voyage.

I waited 15 months to receive this first-ever full EV from Subaru (jointly developed with Toyota).  With a nameplate range of 350 km, I drove to Hope to charge at one of BC Hydro’s 25 kW DC chargers while having lunch.  Then, because I was too conservative, I stopped at Manning Park to charge again at BC Hydro’s 50 kW DC charger. 

What I didn’t realize was that with regenerative braking coming out of the mountains, I would gain additional range.  But it was a great test of the ability of electric vehicles to do long-distance travel.  While there, I spoke with the owner of a Toyota Rav 4 plug-in hybrid, and along the way met many other EV or hybrid vehicle owners.  At the EFMA Conference, we had a number of Teslas, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and even a Rivian RT1 truck.

With the work the BCSEA does when it comes to adopting sustainable energy, all of the advocacy we do at the BC Utilities Commission is important.   My road trip was made possible in part by the work we do at the BCUC, and BC Hydro responded.  With supply chains finally catching up to demand, we can expect to see more success stories when it comes to our transition to a zero carbon future.

If you want to help the BCSEA in its vision of having a 100% sustainably powered province, please consider donating or joining our wonderful organization of like-minded individuals.  I look forward to taking the Solterra to Kelowna for our annual hockey tournament trip in October, when colder temperatures (and a heavier vehicle) will adversely impact driving range, and will update our members accordingly.

As we get into the summer season, I wish you safe (and hopefully sustainable) travels.