Thursday, April 7, 2016

At Least They're Talking!

In the District of North Vancouver where I live, the last election did something that many didn't realize would happen one day -- they voted Liberal. The new MP, Jonathan Wilkerson  has many attractive qualities, not withstanding that he actually responds to a question in a straightforward manner. But one particular part of his background is of interest to me -- his 20 years of experience in the commercial green-tech industry. Well, his title of Rhode Scholar equally intrigues me, but I'll save that for a different post in my regular blog.

Wilkerson hosted a public meeting for his riding this past Wednesday where he went through the various key topics that were addressed by the recent Federal Budget announcement. There were a fair amount of very credible priorities where budget would improve quality of life in Canada and support increased advancements in projects that promote eco-consciousness and decreased emissions.

After his presentation, he took questions from the crowd. What was most interesting was the number of questions around electric vehicles. North Vancouver is an affluent part of Greater Vancouver, where its residents can generally afford a Tesla Model S and X. And less than a week after the news spam about people lining up to buy the unseen Model 3, the discussion about the effectiveness of EVs to counter global warming was in the air. I mean, when you say "environmentally-friendly" in the aftermath of the Model 3 announcement, Tesla and their electric vehicles seem to automatically come to the forefront of people's minds.

The first question to Wilkerson, in fact, was about EVs and the process of discarding the old lithium-ion batteries. The first thought I had was "This is so off-topic from the federal budget. Wilkerson will brush it off." But because of his background in the clean tech industry, Wilkerson had the answer. That is, that they are generally dismantled and recycled. Bravo, Jonathan!

Another question about EV's came up shortly afterwards. Actually this was more of an accusation -- that the production of EVs create more carbon emissions than they save. I wanted to jump up and say, "That's Not True!" But I kept my cool when I saw the guy beside me shake his head and say those words out loud for me.

I came away from that event encouraged. People are talking about electric vehicles. They are challenging their viability and putting the questions out in the open where they can be answered for others to hear. EV enthusiasts aren't in some secret club anymore where they are dubbed "tree-hungers" or "hippies." The fact that EVs are being questioned in public means that even the concept of considering an electric car has gone mainstream. This is just the beginning of a true rEVolution, and I'm really excited -- even honoured -- to get to be a part of it!

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