Test drive an electric vehicle at October 27 BC Hydro event

Image Cadillac ELR
A Cadillac ELR will be among the vehicles available for a test drive outside BC Hydro's downtown Vancouver office on Monday, October 27.

BC Hydro helps spread the word about EVs at test-drive event in Vancouver

For anyone curious about electric vehicles (EVs), BC Hydro, in conjunction with Electric Mobility Canada and Plug-In BC, is providing a chance for drivers to get behind the wheel of one.

From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, October 27, drivers with a valid license will have an opportunity to test drive a number of EVs, including:

Register to drive, or to just go for a ride

The cars will be parked along Homer Street beside the BC Hydro building on Dunsmuir Street in downtown Vancouver. No pre-registration is required. Drivers can simply register in the BC Hydro lobby to drive as many of the vehicles as they want, on a first-come, first-served basis.

For those who would rather just ride in an EV, that's possible too.

Drivers will be accompanied by a representative of the dealership that has provided the vehicle while following a pre-defined route.

BC Hydro's Alec Tsang works with the company's emerging technologies group. Supportive of EV technology, BC Hydro is preparing the electrical system for the increased load that will result from more EVs on the road.

"We want to understand the impacts of electrical vehicles," Tsang explained in a phone conversation. "People can charge at home, but there has to be some public infrastructure."

What that looks like and how it will be provided is still being worked out, he said, although guidelines for EV charging infrastructure are in place.

Providing the venue for the Ride and Drive is a way for BC Hydro to give customers a chance to see for themselves what EVs are all about.

The Ride and Drive event leads up to the 2014 EV-VÉ tradeshow and conference being held at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver. It's a project of Electric Mobility Canada and with the City of Vancouver, BC Hydro is a co-host.

The trade show, which features a number of EVs on display, will be open to the general public on Thursday, October 30, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

More information about EVs, including common questions and information for owners and drivers, is available at the BC Hydro website.