A DOGgone good reason to go electric

Danielle trains guide-dogs and lives in Duncan, BC. In 2019, she decided to buy an electric vehicle: a Hyundai Ioniq. A major reason was the environment and doing her part in reducing emissions to mitigate climate change. She also had researched cost-of-ownership and believed that her yearly operating costs would be reduced (spoiler: she was right).

But, the biggest reason for going EV was the safety and comfort of her pups. Danielle trains service dogs for BC and Alberta Guide Dog Services. She has them one at a time, from 7 weeks old until 18 months; after that they return to the organization for advanced training. These pups are with her 24/7 and have full public access, but sometimes it is better for them to remain in the car: for example, when the parking lot is heavily salted or when the pavement is too hot for bare feet, when a pup is in season, recovering from being fixed or is just too dog-tired. She couldn’t leave them in a gas car, idling and running the heater or AC. But an EV can run heat and cooling on battery power; of course, an EV doesn’t idle, so that was a deal maker!

For Danielle, the Hyundai Ioniq was the right combination of price, range and cargo space. She did not want a large vehicle, and the mid-size car is a modest EV that qualified for provincial and federal rebates. Being a car, it has low enough entries and exits for small pups. The rear seats fold flat for a huge cargo space or for emergency camping to keep her and the dogs supplied and warm for four days easily, or seven in a pinch. People laughed at that requirement in 2019, but after the fires and floods of 2021, it’s a more common concern. Meanwhile, her travels are generally from Duncan to Victoria or Nanaimo, which is easily made on a single charge.

Danielle lives within a three-minute walk of two level-2 charging stations and one DC fast-charger, and within 1km of ten other level-2s. Her condo allows her to use her basic charging cable in the garage for the cost of her electricity consumption. She gasps at gas prices today and is grateful she made the switch. Did her operating costs go down? Definitely! According to her calculations, including all charging, maintenance, and twice-yearly seasonal wheel change, her EV “Finn” costs about $50 a month.

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