Cruising Electric Avenue
Sustainability Jessi Cruickshank, host of Canada’s Smartest Person and The Goods on CBC, shares her road to a greener drive.
Cruickshank had the same questions as most people about EVs — where will I charge it and how long will the battery last? She worried about being stranded somewhere, but her concerns were soon put to rest. “Within a week, I got into the rhythm of charging my car,” she says. “I lived in an apartment when I first got it and my landlord asked why I was running an extension cord from my suite to the car. He was surprised at how inexpensive it was to charge the battery.” Cruickshank lives in a house now and plugs her car into a regular power outlet in the garage. In the morning, she’s ready to go with a full charge.
It costs Cruickshank less than a dollar a day to charge her car, and the battery lasts for about 120 kilometres, which is perfect for the kind of driving she does. She likes how she can drive for a month for less than what it used to cost her for one gas fill-up. She certainly doesn’t miss going to gas stations. “I was driving in a friend’s car recently, and they needed to stop for gas,” Cruickshank says. “I thought, ‘This is a real inconvenience.’” And with high land prices in some urban centres in Canada, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find a gas station.
There’s a lot to like about electric
Aside from not having to do oil changes, there are a lot of other perks that Cruickshank enjoys — like getting prime parking spots at shopping malls and her gym. She took her nephew to Disneyland, and while everyone was trying to find a parking spot, she drove right up to the front gate, where they have parking spots and charging stations for EVs. She adds that some car dealers will even lend you a gas-powered car if you want to take a long road trip, something she took advantage of once.
What surprised Cruickshank the most about her EV is how great it drives. “Car aficionados would cringe at me saying this, but it feels like a high-tech golf cart,” she says. “It’s a smooth, quiet ride and picks up fast. I drive it on the highway all the time. I never used to look forward to spending time in a car, but now I do.”
There are now a variety of EVs at different price points on the market, making it much more accessible for regular Canadians. Cruickshank has become an impassioned ambassador for EVs, and is proud of how this single choice has helped reduce her carbon footprint. “When Canadians consider buying a new car, I hope an EV is top of mind,” she says. “You don’t have to feel like a charity to drive electric. Even if you don’t care about the environment, there are so many other benefits.”
If you see someone driving a sporty electric car, with a smile on their face, it’s likely Cruickshank. She’s named her car Mojo, because he’s funky and has a kick.