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New Brunswickers energized by EVs

August 12 2022, 08:30 AM

New Brunswickers energized by EVs

Earlier this summer, we partnered with Plug’n Drive to give New Brunswickers a chance to take an electric vehicle (EV) for a spin.

The idea behind our EV Test Drive Tour was simple: giving New Brunswickers in five communities the opportunity to learn from EV drivers in our region and get behind the wheel to experience it first-hand.

The general theme of drivers’ feedback?

“Excellent!”

“Super informative!”

“Awesome!”

“Fantastic!”

For many, the EV Test Drive Tour was their first time getting in an EV, let alone driving one.

There were plenty of EVs to test drive; whether you wanted to cruise in the Tesla Model 3, go for a ride in the Hyundai IONIQ 5 Electric, take a spin in the Volvo XC40 Recharge or drive the Chevrolet Bolt, there was something for everyone.

Beyond the test drives, Plug’n Drive’s Mobile Electric Vehicle Education Trailer was a big attraction with its interactive displays and EV Ambassadors ready to answer EV-related questions.

The tour visited Saint John, Fredericton, Riverview, Bathurst and Grand Falls, spending Thursday to Sunday in each community.

For Luc Roberge and his son Simon in Grand Falls, who took the IONIQ 5 and the XC40 for a drive, found the cars “powerful and quiet” and left them thinking that an EV was in their future.

“The test drive was awesome,” said Luc. “The thing I like the most is you don’t need brakes as much.” This is because electric vehicles use a process known as regenerative braking, which takes the kinetic energy of your vehicle and uses it to slow down.  It also means less wear and tear on your brakes and greater stopping power.

In each community there was a great turnout with lots of engagement and questions from interested New Brunswickers who took more than 600 test drives and had lots of positive comments about the experience.

Sarah Sherman is a proud EV owner from Fosterville, NB. She enjoyed connecting with New Brunswickers at test drives in Fredericton and Riverview as one of Plug’n Drive’s local EV ambassadors and would be thrilled to do it again in the future.

“These events were a really great way to help dispel myths and misconceptions about EVs and learn more as a new EV owner myself,” said Sarah. “At one event there was a couple who were split on whether to get an EV. By the time they left, they were both converted and were going to find one to order. Another fellow was so impressed, he and his wife came back four times in one day and placed an order for the Chevy Bolt the same day!”

NB Power employees joined the tour every weekend to share information about the eCharge Network and New Brunswick’s electric vehicle rebate program, Plug-In NB.

The test drive tour was hosted by generous local site owners. The successful events were made possible with the support of TD Station, the Capital Exhibit Centre, Sobeys Riverview, the Atlantic Host Inn and the Centre E.&P. Sénéchal Center.

We’re thrilled by the positive response to the tour and hope to do more events like this in the future. The future is electric!

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