Burnaby joins Vancouver in giving the nod to zero-emission vehicles
Acceptance of the electric commuter car is gaining traction, as Burnaby has followed Vancouver in drafting a bylaw to allow them on city streets.
At its October 27, 2008, council meeting, Burnaby city council accepted a recommendation to allow the low-speed electric cars on streets with a speed limit up to 50 km/h. A bylaw is being drawn up by the city’s legal department, and it is expected to be ratified by council in coming weeks.
The Province of B.C. amended its motor vehicle safety regulations last June, giving municipalities the authority to allow the cars on their streets. Oak Bay and Vancouver were the first of the province’s approximately 150 municipalities to do so. The City of Burnaby resolution calls for the city to send its report recommending approval of the cars to TransLink and Metro Vancouver for consideration at the regional level, as well as to neighbouring municipalities.
Low-speed electric cars are powered entirely by batteries, which can usually be charged in about eight hours at a regular household electrical outlet. In B.C. they can legally travel at speeds up to 40 km/h. They are available in this province only through ElectricCarBC, a distributor for Global Electric Motorcars, a division of Chrysler. The are also manufactured by ZENN Motor Company in Quebec, although that company does not distribute to B.C.
For more on electric cars, see “Plug ’n Play” in the upcoming Winter 2008 issue of Granville magazine, available November 24, 2008. (Sign up for a free subscription delivered to your home!)