FORT ST. JOHN -- The province is currently proposing a bill to mandate 100 per cent electric vehicles by 2035.

Bill 39, also known as the Zero-emission Vehicles Amendment Act, is an extension of a previous bill. It regulates car production, stating 26 per cent of all new vehicles need to be emission-free by 2026. That number will increase to 90 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035.

However, Peace River North MLA Dan Davies sees the bill as unfeasible for the Peace Region. “This would work in the lower mainland [and] certain parts of the island for the most part… but certainly in the interior and up north, it's just absolutely ludicrous.”

According to Recurrent, a U.S. firm that tested range loss in 7,000 cars, electric vehicles can lose up to 30 per cent of their range in freezing temperatures. They tested vehicles at temperatures between –7 C and –1 C. Temperatures are well below that in the winter across the Peace Region.

“In the winter, when your range and your batteries are reduced... the infrastructure is not there. This is an absolutely poorly thought out cookie cutter piece of legislation that's not going to work and it's going to impact everyday British Columbians, especially people in the north,” says Davies.

Davies says the act can become dangerous for those working outside or driving from northern communities during the winter. “It's going to have direct impact on farmers, direct impact on the resource sector, whether it mining, oil and gas, forestry, you name it. And then people that are travelling from Fort Nelson to come to medical appointments in the winter.”

The bill is currently in the committee stage in the legislature.