Taylor Bachrach logged 11,000 kilometres on his 2019 Chevrolet Bolt during the federal election campaign. (Thom Barker photo)

Bachrach’s election campaign sparks the imagination

New Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP logs 11k on electric campaign car

For newly elected Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach the campaign trail was a proving ground for the viability of electric vehicle (EV) travel in the North.

During the five-week election, the ex-Smithers mayor turned politician put more than 11,000 kilometres on his 2019 Chevrolet Bolt.

“It’s not a choice that’s available to everyone,” he said. “There’s still lots of occupations and lifestyles where electric vehicles aren’t yet practical.

“However, for a lot of people in our region who might be a two-car household or who have a short to medium commute to work, it’s a great way to reduce pollution and save money.”

The decision to go electric was both personal and political, he said.

“We’ve been trying, as a family, to make lifestyle changes that reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and transportation is one of the big sources of emissions for British Columbians,” he said. “I really believe that people in leadership positions have a responsibility to ‘eat their own cooking’.”

There were, of course, areas in the riding he was unable to get to by EV, simply because the charging infrastructure doesn’t exist. For more remote communities such as Atlin, the Nass Valley, Telegraph Creek, Bella Bella and Bella Coola, he used a conventional gas-powered car, a 2006 Toyota Matrix.

“We did manage to get it over to Haida Gwaii, though,” he said. “We were able to charge up at a Haida Gwaii resident’s house. There’s a fellow on Haida Gwaii who owns a Nissan Leaf and he allowed us to charge up at his house overnight.”

Bachrach foresees EV travel becoming more practical and affordable in the coming years, even in the North.

“The charging infrastructure still has a ways to go in order to facilitate longer-range electric vehicle travel, but we’re working on a project right now with the Community Energy Association to bring Level 3 chargers to all the communities on Highways 97 and 16 from Kamloops to Haida Gwaii. Once those chargers are in place it’s going to be a lot easier for people to make the switch.”

But it’s not just the infrastructure that will facilitate greater uptake, he said, the technology of the vehicles themselves is improving rapidly.

“The new vehicles have longer range,” he said. “This is our second electric vehicle – the first one had a 130-kilometre range and this one has a 400-kilometre range.

“It still requires a bit of an adjustment – you have to make time in your schedule for charging. Currently, public charging stations are a bit out of the way and most of them are Level 2 charging stations, which means you need several hours to fill up the battery.”

In addition to feeling good about the choice to go electric, Bachrach also really likes the car.

“One of the aspects of electric vehicles is they’re really fun to drive,” he said. “They’re comfortable and they’re quiet and, at the end of the day, they’re not too much different than an ordinary car and I think in some ways they’re an even more enjoyable experience.”

Bachrach had set a goal at the beginning of the campaign to visit all the communities of Skeena-Bulkley Valley, but said he ran out of time.

Places such as Hartley Bay, Klemtu, Ocean Falls, Lower Post, Fort Babine and a number of other smaller Indigenous communities were left out. Visiting those places soon will be a priority, he promised.

“That’s going to be my focus early on in this new mandate,” he said. “This is a huge region and it’s home to a lot of really small villages and rural communities.

“I believe that all those little places deserve representation and that means showing up and understanding the issues they face. I’m really looking forward to doing that. As someone from a small rural place myself, those kinds of communities are close to my heart.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

’Herbert’ Shane Hartman with his daughter Isla. (Shane Hartman Facebook photo)
Love for daughter and drumming leads to author’s first book

Shane Hartman spent very spare moment writing and illustrating Isla’s New Drum

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Submitted
BC VOTES 2020: John Rustad re-elected in Nechako Lakes riding

The result is based on preliminary vote count and the final results will be available after Nov.6

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Most Read