By Laura Keil

You might have seen it already around Valemount: a futuristic-looking jeep-style vehicle with a curious emblem on the side: e-ride Industries electric vehicle.

The vehicle—purchased from e-ride Industries based in Princeton—is the Village of Valemount’s newest staff vehicle.

The 2-seater is fully electric, Mayor Owen Torgerson said, and it’s classified as a low-speed vehicle—in other words, its top speed is 40km/h and it’s only allowed in zones with a speed limit of 50km/h or less. It can cross a highway only if cross-traffic speed is 80km or less.

“A low-speed vehicle is not a golf cart,” Torgerson said. “These are fully insured. A low-speed vehicle has many more safety features than a golf cart.”

He said the vehicle was purchased with bylaw services in mind. “They generally put the most miles on a vehicle.”

But he said other staff members may use the vehicle as well.

Torgerson said the vehicle’s range between charge-ups is 50-100km depending on the weather. Cooler temperatures drain the battery faster. It takes 1-2 hours to charge depending on the speed of the charging station. 

As far as the decision to buy the vehicle, Torgerson said the choice of electric was a matter of responsibility.

“One step at a time we as an organization can start reducing emissions just as everyone else.”

The vehicle cost the village $47,425.10, which was covered by grants. $32,208 came from the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (rebates accumulated since 2012) and $15,217.10 came from the Covid 19 Safe Restart Grant.