Autonomous Vehicles
August 8, 2019

The Iconic VW Van Returns – Electrified!

One of the world’s most iconic vans is making a comeback…

But this time, it’s electric. Slated for production by 2022, the “electric microbus” is one of five new electric models in Volkswagen’s ID. series — a family of 100% electric vehicles, which includes a crossover, a compact, a sedan, and of course, the van.

Just like the classic VW van, there will be room for up to seven people with an adjustable interior that includes a table and movable seats. Volkswagen also intends on enabling all ID. series models with a fully autonomous feature option.

Distance, a major concern of many when it comes to purchasing an electric vehicle, is no longer an issue. The van will have an electric range of 400 to 600 km, comparable to pretty much any gas-powered vehicle. Further, Volkswagen has partnered with Electrify Canada (partnership formed by Electrify America in cooperation with Volkswagen Canada) to build ultra-fast electric vehicle charging infrastructure to give Canadians the reliability they need to confidently make the switch to electric. Planning and deployment are well underway, including network routes — you can check out the Vancouver to Calgary route here.

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In response to part 1 of this series, of which focused on the challenges in planning for electric micro mobility, part 2 presents the opportunities for doing so.

As mentioned in part 1, BC’s current Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) serves as one of, if not the primary barrier to accommodating these technologies. Accordingly, reforming such act is a critical first step in creating a more welcoming, legal, environment for electric micro mobility.

Thanks to the Road Safety Law Reform Group of BC, much progress on reforming the BC MVA has already been made. Comprised of representatives from the legal, health, and advocacy community, including HUB Cycling, BC Cycling Coalition, and Trial Lawyers Association of BC (among others), the Road Safety Reform Group published a position paper titled Modernizing the BC Motor Vehicle Act, that recommends the following key reforms:

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The wave of electric micro mobility: it’s happening fast here in Canada.

From e-bikes, to e-scooters, to e-boards and segways, increasingly cities in BC and beyond are speaking out about the need to accommodate such emerging technologies, while simultaneously grappling with how to do so.

Written in 1957, BCs Provincial Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), whose initial design was to regulate motor vehicles and their drivers, has proven to be a significant barrier in the creation of a more hospitable environment for these rapidly emerging technologies and their riders.

While e-bikes are now legally able to operate on BC roads (operators must be at least 16 years of age and wearing a helmet, with electric motors capped at 500 watts) how to accommodate users who wish to use different electric technologies — such as e-scooters and e-boards — remains a big question.

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Greetings Price Tags reader—

My name is Alexandra Doran (I’ll answer to Alex!), currently working in the region as a transportation planning consultant. I’m originally from Halifax, and came to Vancouver in 2014 with stops in Kelowna and Montreal.

I have a Master’s in urban planning with a concentration in transportation, and my areas of interest — which I look forward to sharing and discussing with you — include planning for equity, particularly as it relates to transport and housing, active transport, and the many facets of environmental justice. Dovetailing off some of Price Tags recent discussions, my first series of posts will explore the rise of e/micro mobility.

I’m always eager to hear and chat about emerging policies, projects and plans – both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – from here and elsewhere, so please don’t hesitate to suggest particular topics for me to cover.

Thanks for following along!

 

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