Residents torn between hatred for Irving, hatred for NB Power as new campaign promotes electric vehicles

Residents torn between hatred for Irving, hatred for NB Power as new campaign promotes electric vehicles

Fredericton — NB Power has released social media ads aimed at customers considering an electric car or SUV for their next vehicle. The ads highlight their significant fuel savings, low maintenance costs and reduced CO² emissions.

“With an expanded network of charging stations and many new models exceeding 300 kilometres of range, EVs [electric vehicles] will be replacing many traditional gas-powered vehicles in New Brunswick,” says NB Power CEO Gaëtan Thomas. “We know some New Brunswickers are reluctant to change, so that’s why we’ve decided to speed up the process by removing at least a dozen fuel-sucking pickup trucks from construction sites and garages in rural New Brunswick.

“Squeaky Ed, Screwdriver Judy, Chuck Knuckles, Mike ‘I like to steal shit’ Wilson…our entire board of directors have been instrumental in sending plow trucks, yard equipment flatbeds, and jacked up F-350s to Quebec for auction. Some would call it theft, but at NB Power we like to call it a ‘CO2 reduction initiative,’” said Thomas while waving his hands in air quotes.

Critics of both NB Power and the Higgs Conservative government are conflicted.

“I’m emotionally exhausted,” cried Rexton mechanic Jason Craig. “I want to stick it to Higgs and the Irvings by not buying gas, but I also hate NB Power! Oh sure, I’d save thousands a year in fuel and maintenance by owning an electric car, but what will the neighbours say? They’ll call me a sell-out! Maybe I’ll just get a hybrid like Cardy.”

Despite only 429 electric vehicles being registered in New Brunswick at the end of 2019, some are projecting a catastrophic negative impact in the years to come.

“Who will pay for road taxes if nobody is buying gas? I can’t keep the road out to Charters Settlement paved and plowed all by myself!” shouted rural financial advisor Charlie Scoville. “Walking? Bikes? Now this?! The money has to come from somewhere!

“And where are we going to put all the batteries after they die? If the bottom drawer in my kitchen is a sign of things to come, we’ll be buried by next fall.”

Critics are also concerned about the up-front cost. With no rebate or incentive plan being offered, many are pessimistic that an electric vehicle would be within their household budget.

“How the hell can any warm-blooded hard-working plaid shirt-wearing New Brunswicker afford an electric vehicle?” asked off-road enthusiast Blaine Yerxa. “I don’t have that kind of money after buying a light bar, lift kit, and 35-inch mud tires for my Dodge Ram. Everyone knows those are necessities to survive a winter living on Woodstock Road.”

“I need a vehicle that can tow a trailer, crush a car, haul a dozen sheets of plywood with enough gas to drive to Dalhousie and back every day…Oh…that…?” Yerxa went on, pointing at a red Honda Accord in his yard. “That’s my wife’s car. We do most of our driving and errands with it, but I wish I could find something that was a lot cheaper on gas and cost less to maintain…”

If numbers remain below predicted targets at the end of 2020, NB Power plans to purchase a new fleet of Teslas.

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