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

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

Red sky in morning: an early-morning sunrise on May 16, 2020, captured just north of Kitimat. (Eric Roy photo)
Clare’s Corner: Hello, darkness, my old friend

Why does the after-work darkness affect you so much more as an adult than as a child?

(Corrado Colombo photo)
Corrado Colombo, with his wife, Lucy. Colombo is from Italy, but met Kitimat born-and-raised Lucy on one of his annual fishing trips to Kitimat in the early 2000s.
In Our Valley: Corrado Colombo

Corrado Colombo never expected that an annual fishing trip to Kitimat would change his life

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross at his swearing in on Thursday (Nov. 26), with his wife, Tracey, left, mother, Frieda, and grandson, Parker. (Ellis Ross photo)
Ellis Ross sworn in as Skeena MLA

Ceremonies happening virtually rather than all in-person in Victoria

CityWest internet and other services are down in Kitimat as of Wednesday (Nov. 25) evening. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Services down for CityWest users in Kitimat

Services were put out due to a landslide cutting a fibre line

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read