Local dealer selling first all-electric car

July 20, 2022, 9:01 am
Kevin Weedmark

Tyler Thorn of Celebration Ford with a Mustang Mach-E, the first fully electric car the local dealership is selling.

Celebration Ford in Moosomin is selling its first electric car, a Ford Mustang Mach-E.

“This is our very first full electric vehicle,” Tyler Thorn of Celebration Ford said last week.

“It’s optional for Ford dealers to become certified for electric vehicles. You don’t have to, but I think most of the dealers in the country have signed up for the Electric Certification Program. Basically you have to install a charger and there’s a fair bit of equipment you have to buy to be able to service the electric vehicles, so there’s a bit of an investment there and some technical training and some sales training that we have to do to maintain that certification.”

Preparations under way for electric vehicles at Bradley’s
Bradley’s GM, meanwhile, is training technicians for the coming electric vehicles and is able to take orders for electric models coming in the not-too distant future.

Rob Bradley says the new Chev Silverado EV will be available in Canada in 2024 but people can reserve now.

The Chev Blazer EV (photo below) can be reserved starting this week and will be available starting in spring of 2023.

The Chev Equinox EV will be available in fall 2023.

“We are currently of the process of training techs and getting our building ready for electric vehicles,” said Bradley. “We had a choice and we have chosen to go forward with EVs.”

The Chev Blazer EV can be reserved starting this week and will be available starting in the spring of 2023.

More electrics in future of auto industry
Thorn says he thinks electric vehicles will be a growing segment of the automotive industry moving forward.

“All of the manufacturers are heavily invested into it so it’s not a fad. We’ve seen some fads over the years with things like hydrogen power, but I don’t think this is a fad, I think the industry is headed in that direction. I don’t know what the timing looks like for us. I think there’s a few challenges, particularly around the range, that have to be overcome. I think we’ll see over time that will improve. They’ll get more and more range out of the batteries and I think the technology will bring the price down. I think eventually we’ll see the day where the gas-powered vehicles, you’ll pay a premium for those, and the electric will be less money. I think that’s where we’re headed.”

Thorn believes there is a lot of interest in electric vehicles.

“Certainly, at $2.06 a litre, the interest is there,” he says. “Interest in electric spikes when the price of gas spikes, definitely. There’s a lot of interest in it and right now, but the supply is really tight on electric vehicles. Across all manufacturers, I think pretty well everybody has a waiting list. The supply is not there yet to support the demand, but the industry is headed in that direction, it’s just a matter of how long it’s going to take to get there.”

Thorn said overall supply issues are impacting the auto industry.

“It’s really challenging to get the product built because of the supply issues at the plant. There’s issues getting the product moved once it does get built. There’s a shortage of rail cars to get them on, and then once they do get off the train—we unload all of our product in Winnipeg and once it gets there, there’s a shortage of trucks to get it from there to here.”

He said he had a good first impression of the Mach-E.

“Its awesome. The first time I drove it was today. I was a little skeptical at first but man, it is an impressive car to drive. I can’t get over the acceleration and the handling of it. It’s a pretty cool car to drive.”

Thorn said the arrival of the first electric vehicle on his lot feels like the start of a new era.

“I’m not sure when we’re going to see a mass supply of electric vehicles but it’s definitely coming. We’ve got a few full-electric trucks coming that are all pre-sold. We’ve got a full-sized cargo van available in electric now. It’s a little ways out yet but we do have one of those scheduled to come, so it’s starting to happen.

“I think you’re going to see rapid expansion over the next few years and across all manufacturers, I think you’re going to see every manufacturer making one or two models in the near term and if you get out five years from now I suspect that we’ll see all of our models will have a full-electric version.

“A lot of our models now have hybrids, so on just about every model there’s a gas-powered option and some form of electric. Most of them are hybrids.”

There is a premium on the electric vehicles.

“It’s about a $20,000 to $25,000 premium for the electric, so you’re paying a little bit of a premium for it but you don’t have to put gas in it, or any oil, and maintenance costs should be lower,” says Thorn.

He said he thinks a lot of people will be surprised the first time they try an electric vehicle.

“I think people will be very impressed with the performance. They have a low center of gravity which improves the handling on them. The performance is incredible on them and obviously the fuel efficiency is pretty good. It’s just a few bucks of electricity to charge it.

“I haven’t done the math, but I’ve heard that it’s five or six bucks to charge it from near zero to full charge so it’s fairly inexpensive. I know a lot of the chargers you see are just pull up and plug in, you don’t pay for it. I suspect that’s going to change over time, there will be a meter. Some of the commercial superchargers have a meter on them and that’s how they pay for the charging stations.”

A recent study showed the average cost of charging an electric vehicle in Canada is $277.19 a year.