FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The BC Oil and Gas Commission’s electric test car saw 2,166 km of use in its first year on northeast roads.

The OGC says 69 trips were taken by staff between June 2019 to March 2020, for a total cost of $41. It’s been idled since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“Our offices have been closed to the public for almost a year, so our EV hasn’t been booked by staff to drive in that time,” said spokesperson Lannea Parfitt.

All seven of the commission’s offices in the province have been closed since March 15 of last year. Parfitt expects the car will see more use in six months, when the pandemic subsides and staff return to working at the Fort St. John office.

The car itself is a 2019 Hyundai Kona, and was being used by staff to attend meetings and other duties in the Fort St John area.

The OGC announced in 2019 that it had added the car to its fleet, saying it would support the government’s goal of having 10% of light-duty vehicle purchases be zero-emission vehicles starting in 2020.

The Kona’s average range is 406 kilometres, but reduces to 326 kilometres in sub-zero -30C temperatures.

Its charge time is roughly 50 minutes using a high-power charging station, or nine hours using a standard station.

Written by Tom Summers, Local Journalism Initiative.