Here are some practical, on-the-ground thoughts.
Yesterday, we dusted off the Toyota for a trip to White Rock on family business. It wouldn’t start. Dead as a doornail. Called BCAA, who arrived within 15 minutes.
Dead battery. No surprise. But now comes the surprise.
“How often do you drive it ?”, asks the BCAA tech.
“Not much”, I say, “About 1,000 km a year.”
“OK, your battery died from low usage”, he says, “They self-discharge, and when they get low, this can alter battery chemistry too”.
“We see lots of this in the West End. There’s so much within walking distance, and so many choices to get around. Walk, transit, bike — car usage drops and dead batteries are common”. “We’re seeing more of it all over Vancouver, too”, chimes in the BCAA tech’s co-worker.
“What you can do is this: drive it 30-45 minutes a week, or put in a trickle-charger, or else dump it and join a car-share program.” We chat for a few minutes.
Maybe the talk was a slick promo for BCAA’s EVO (I doubt it), but the techs had both clearly researched Car2Go as well. They knew the ins and outs.
While we chatted, the BCAA techs checked the battery carefully and started the car with their booster; we idled it for 45 minutes, then made it out to White Rock and back without incident.
I think its’ time for us to consider a move away from car ownership and towards something else. All because of the “West End Syndrome”. All the transportation choices we use have reduced car dependency to the point that it’s detrimental to the car’s operation. Who knew?
Anyone interested in a Toyota Yaris? Very low mileage.