CAA trying to shift perceptions when it comes to eco-friendly cars
Get electric. Get current.
CAA Manitoba has launched a new education campaign, called Get Current, to provide motorists with unbiased and useful advice about electric vehicles.
Despite the benefits of using electric vehicles, some aren’t convinced the idea the trend will take off in Winnipeg whether it’s due to electric vehicles’ price tags or other factors.
Aaron Russin, the customer service coordinator at Peg City Car Co-Op, a car sharing co-op run out of Winnipeg used by people who want to rent out vehicles on a use-by-use basis as a sustainable alternative to car ownership, is pleased with CAA Manitoba’s campaign, but feels some issues are not being addressed.
“They should [promote electric vehicles] in a sustainable way,” he said.
Russin also had concerns over the pricing of electric vehicles.“We can’t exactly purchase them,” he said, “they’d have to be around $50,000.”
Pricing is a major factor, and could potentially limit the number of people who could readily afford the greener alternative. “One of the main factors [with pricing] is supply,” said Daniel Yurkiw, Strategic Review Analyst for Manitoba Hydro. “For some people, pricing is the limiting factor. Right now, Winnipeg is only a secondary market, and as more manufacturers come into this market, there will be more supply.”
However, despite the large price tag slapped on electric vehicles, Russin is still pleased with the work CAA has done to promote greener initiatives, such as the co-op. “CAA has been exceptional to us. They provide a lot of support for cycling, and providing roadside assistance.”
There are, though, still some issues that don’t sit quite right with Russin. “The problem is, people still own vehicles. We share cars, that’s our bread and butter. We’d like to see more public transit. Car-sharing is a supplement to that.”
The Manitoba government and Manitoba Hydro have, in fact, responded in kind. In April 2011, they invested $1 million in an all-electric transit system, as well as $100,000 to Red River College for the creation of an electric vehicle learning and demonstration centre, all as part of the province’s Electric Vehicle Road Map.
A month later, Manitoba Hydro announced that they would be partnering up with Nissan to promote the use of EV’s to the public.
To promote the use of electric vehicles, CAA has made use of it’s website to show the pros and cons of owning an electric car, offering contests to win gift cards, and offering test drives to customers interested in EV’s. As well, CAA has a number of info sessions ready for the next few weeks into February for those who are interested in learning more about electric vehicles.