It was an energizing conversation at the Swift Current Museum yesterday at noon.
Lloyd Fehr was the key speaker at yesterday's Lunch n Learn at the museum. He spoke about the many aspects of owning and operating an electric vehicle (EV) in Saskatchewan. Fehr shared his experiences with having driven his Tesla for over 200,000 miles, and about the costs and responsibilities that come with owning an EV.
When asked what he thought about the fact that so many had come to listen to him, Fehr was a little elated.
"I'm not crazy anymore!" rejoiced Fehr. "Having this many people interested in electric vehicles is just great to see in our small community."
Folks who came out to listen were provided with lunch courtesy of Nightjar Diner, while Fehr provided the learning.
The start of the hour saw Fehr deep dive into what his experience has been, while expanding on how the market has changed since his first purchase, with his insights into what is to come with EVs taking a larger role in the automotive market.
Fehr was also able to field plenty of questions at the end, addressing some concerns the crowd had.
Popular questions centred around battery life, battery recycling, and battery replacement. Fehr talked about how the batteries are being recycled by start-up companies in California and Germany, and how their process works.
He also explained how these batteries have a life expectancy of roughly 20 years, and often only need one cell replaced after charges start to wane. His explanation of the batteries being composed of some 6,000 cells, at least on a Tesla unit, opened many folks' eyes as to how they are more reparable than many believed.
Another big thing regarding the future of EVs was the fact that Fehr has been approached at car shows by teenagers and other youths. They are excited about the raw speed electric power trains can deliver, and are already asking Fehr how to get started with them.
"They're going to take over," said Fehr. "I can't do this forever, and they're more interested in the car shows I've done in Saskatoon. I would say a good majority are really young kids whose first vehicle is going to be electric. It's just going to happen. Every kid wants a hot rod. I know I did. If you can make a car go faster, and do work on it yourself, then yeah. With a little bit of training, you can definitely work on these vehicles."
All in all, roughly 40 or more people were in attendance, packing the parking lot with their vehicles, some of which were electric. The crowd was full of questions and showed that the growing interest in EVs has not slowed down.
Fehr explained how more incentives from the government in Saskatchewan would provide a better starting point for these interested parties to begin purchasing their first EV.
"A tax incentive like the federal government is doing," exampled Fehr. "Maybe you don't charge an EV tax for having a vehicle that is cleaner. I would like to see money put into charging infrastructure and maintenance because the hurdle is long-distance travelling in Saskatchewan. We need to have chargers everywhere, and that makes a big difference."
At the end of the day, Fehr says that while the EV will never completely replace the combustion engine, like how the combustion engine never completely replaced horses at the turn of the century, a new day is dawning. Kids will soon be purchasing EVs as their first vehicle, and the momentum will only continue to swing forward into an electric future, full of fast, rechargeable, and better EVs.
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