BCAA's new electric vehicle initiative educates British Columbians and demystifies EV technology

Video: BCAA partners with Trevor Linden to launch BCAA's new electric vehicle initiative, "evolve". Linden plays taxi driver as he debunks myths and uncovers questions about electric vehicles.

Trevor Linden charges up one of BCAA's electric vehicles which he used as a taxi to help raise awareness about BCAA's new electric vehicle initiative, "evolve". (CNW Group/British Columbia Automobile Association)

BCAA launches new electric vehicle initiative to help educate British Columbians about EV technology and provide roadside assistance and automotive support to EV owners. (CNW Group/British Columbia Automobile Association)

BURNABY, BC, Nov. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - As electric vehicle (EV) technology evolves and more charging stations are installed throughout the province, the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is responding and has introduced its new EV initiative, "evolve". The program aims to educate British Columbians about EV technology and provide automotive support to current and prospective EV owners. Last Thursday, former Vancouver Canucks captain and active community leader, Trevor Linden, joined BCAA to launch "evolve" by offering free rides in an electric BCAA Taxi while helping to uncover questions people have about EV technology.

Research conducted by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) indicates that 42% of CAA Members across Canada would consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase. According to BCAA's latest Member Opinion Survey, the main reason respondents considered the purchase of an EV is the price of gas.

"Whether it's to save money or reduce their carbon footprint, we recognize people are looking for more fuel efficient vehicle options and complete alternatives to gas-powered vehicles," says Ken Cousin, automotive specialist and associate vice president of BCAA Road Assist. "But, electric vehicles are still new to British Columbians and we want to answer people's questions and address common myths about EVs to help give people a better understanding of the technology and what it would be like to own and operate one."

BCAA is providing information about EV technology and addressing common questions about EVs on its website, bcaa.com/evolve. The website will also be updated with information related to purchasing, owning and maintaining an EV to help people make an educated decision about whether an EV is the best choice for their driving needs.

Examples of common questions and myths that BCAA addresses are the following:

  • Can you get electrocuted while going through a car wash or driving in the rain?
  • How much does it cost to fully charge in EV?
  • Is an EV powerful enough to drive up steep hills?

As part of its EV initiative, BCAA's automotive techs have been fully trained on EV technology and safety procedures to ensure they can properly assist EV drivers. EVs have also been added to BCAA's fleet of vehicles. One EV will be used to provide roadside assistance within the Metro Vancouver area while another EV will be used for an employee car-share program.

"Using EVs in our business will allow us to collect driving data and feedback on EV issues from a diverse group of users," says Cousin. "Our experience will also help us gain even more understanding of the service needs of these vehicles and what it's like to own and operate an EV."

BCAA has also installed EV charging stations at its Burnaby Service Centre which EV owners—Member or not—can use at no cost. BCAA is now one of a few hosts offering free EV charging stations within the Lower Mainland.

Visit bcaa.com/evolve for more information about BCAA's new EV initiative and to watch a video of Trevor Linden addressing common questions and myths about EVs as he offers passengers free taxi rides in BCAA's electric vehicle.

About BCAA
BCAA is one of the most trusted organizations in British Columbia, serving one-in-four B.C. households. With over 800,000 Members, BCAA provides an array of award-winning home, auto and travel insurance products and services, and roadside assistance. Members can also benefit from CAA Dollar rewards, savings on BCAA insurance products and exclusive offers at Show Your Card & Save locations throughout the province. BCAA has a proud history of serving British Columbians for over 105 years, over $400 million in annual sales, 27 locations and over 800 employees. And, BCAA has been named one of the 50 Best Employers in Canada by international human resource consultants Aon Hewitt five times in the past six years. To learn more about the benefits of BCAA Membership, visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Road Safety Foundation visit www.BCAARoadSafety.com.

Video with caption: "Video: BCAA partners with Trevor Linden to launch BCAA's new electric vehicle initiative, "evolve". Linden plays taxi driver as he debunks myths and uncovers questions about electric vehicles.". Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXGJCEpMLwU&feature=youtu.be

Image with caption: "Trevor Linden charges up one of BCAA's electric vehicles which he used as a taxi to help raise awareness about BCAA's new electric vehicle initiative, "evolve". (CNW Group/British Columbia Automobile Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121116_C8805_PHOTO_EN_20777.jpg

Image with caption: "BCAA launches new electric vehicle initiative to help educate British Columbians about EV technology and provide roadside assistance and automotive support to EV owners. (CNW Group/British Columbia Automobile Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121116_C8805_PHOTO_EN_20776.jpg

SOURCE: British Columbia Automobile Association


For further information:

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact:

Niela Melanio
BCAA Public Affairs and Media Specialist
Office: 604-268-5342
Cell: 778-228-8859
Email: niela.melanio@bcaa.com