Letter to the Editor: This reader is not buying the enviro-benefits of District’s new e-bike

Dear Editor,

So Mayor Fortin is going to save the planet from climate change by buying an electric bicycle for the District staff to use. I can hear the laughter all the way to Penticton.

Did anyone ask District staff if they were willing (and able) to use electric bikes for duties taking them away from their offices? Did anyone check on the liability issues if a member of staff is injured while on a District bike (cars require insurance, bikes don’t). Is anyone going to track utilization of the bikes to be sure we are getting value for money? Who is going to be responsible for maintaining the bikes and ensuring they are kept charged up? How much is this going to cost, including insurance?

An additional thought on the effectiveness of the electric bike on reducing climate change – during its life, it may save a few hundred kilometers of gas consumption for a cost of $2,500, plus maintenance and running costs. Last year, the free EV charger provided 9000kw/hrs or around 45,000 km of non polluting travel for a cost around $2,000. It isn’t difficult to discern it was a bad decision to dump the free EV charger and spend more money on the electric bike instead.

If council was really interested in reducing climate change (and helping support local shops) they would rescind the recent ludicrous decision to start charging double what anyone else in the area charges for using an EV charge point. How does that attract people to Peachland or help reduce gas usage? They would also be insisting that all new builds, both single family and MURBs, install power points for EV charging in every parking space. Kelowna and Kamloops already do this and Penticton will soon.

By the way – did somebody say this is an election year?

Graham Smith, Peachland

Written by Kristen Friesen

May 18, 2022

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