Powell River considering allowing low-speed electric vehicles on city streets

Demonstration of the vehicles is forthcoming

After passing first to third reading at the council meeting on Thursday, January 16, City of Powell River moved closer to amending its traffic bylaw to permit operation of low-speed electric vehicles (LSEVs) on city streets.

If approved, the bylaw would allow specialized small trucks to operate on streets with speed limits of up to 50 kilometres per hour, according to a media release from the city on Monday, January 20.

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The public will have an opportunity to see what these vehicles can do when A&R e-ride Canada Electric Vehicles visits Powell River to give a demonstration on Saturday, January 25, at Powell River Recreation Complex from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. 

“It’s a great opportunity for the public to see these vehicles in action,” stated sustainability planner Ana Lukyanova in the media release. “The city has been working to identify electric options for municipal vehicle replacements. These vehicles are typically significantly less expensive than conventional vehicles and can be a great option for many municipal tasks, such as landscaping and parks maintenance. They’re being used in other BC municipalities with great success.”

Lukyanova added that allowing LSEVs in Powell River will expand the range of EVs available for municipal operations and has the potential to offer more affordable, clean transportation options to residents if more consumer LSEV models become available in Canada. 

In 2019, council adopted the green vehicles and equipment policy, with the goal being the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and operating costs for the city’s fleet. 

According to provincial regulations, LSEVs are currently permitted on all BC roads with speed limits of 40 kilometres per hour or less. Municipalities in BC can additionally allow LSEVs within their municipal boundaries on streets with speed limits between 40 and 50 kilometres per hour through a bylaw.

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