Durham, Pickering plug electric car petition

PICKERING, ONTARIO - Durham and Pickering councils are getting behind a student activist's campaign to bring electric cars to Canada.

Peter Derus spoke to Pickering council and to the Region's finance committee, saying the move to electric cars is inevitable, with only government regulation standing in the way.

Low-speed electric cars are undergoing a pilot project in Ontario, said Mr. Derus, a Bolton resident and astrophysics graduate from York University.

The fact such vehicles are only able to reach 50 kilometres an hour "is the reason low-speed cars in Ontario are undergoing the pilot project," he noted.

For high-speed electric vehicles, the problem is the impact of cold temperatures on the battery.

"If you have a problem, you don't throw up your hands and say forget about it," he said, adding the issue can be solved by heating up the battery.

High-speed electric cars can reach speeds of more than 100 km/h, with a range of 200 kilometres per charge, he stated.

"Clearly, doing nothing is not an option and the sooner we act the better. We need immediately available solutions and we need them now," Mr. Derus said. "It's not secret we have a problem. That problem is that our current idea of personal transportation is breaking down."

In speaking at Pickering and Durham, Mr. Derus is looking for support for his efforts to make the federal and provincial governments move faster on allowing electric cars. He presented a petition he has been circulating to Pickering councillors, who all signed it.

Durham council is expected to endorse Mr. Derus's efforts.

Health issues in his family, including his mother suffering from asthma, got him interested in electric cars. Also, he watched the movie Who Killed the Electric Car several times, Mr. Derus told the Region's finance committee.

"There are companies that make these cars. All we have to do is bring them here," Mr. Derus said. "We can't stop at hybrid cars. They're a step in the right direction."

Oshawa Councillor Nester Pidwerbecki said India and China are making electric cars and they could soon be exported to Canada.

Mr. Derus said, "The federal government gives direction on where the cars can go and the provinces regulate them."

Scugog Mayor Marilyn Pearce said, "As the mayor of a small rural community, I strongly recommend the use of electric cars."


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