Buddy Boyd sits in his car with Piper, who is wearing sunglasses, in front of District Hall on Thursday afternoon. (X. Y. Zeng photo)

Electric vehicle makes final charging stop in Hope after coast-to-coast trip

They’re parked in front of District Hall until 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

A couple and their dog have made their final charging stop in their to-and-fro trip across Canada in their electric car.

Barb Hetherington and Buddy Boyd, along with their dog, Piper, spent about six weeks travelling from Gibsons to St. John’s and then back.

On Thursday, they arrived in Hope and are making a six-hour stop to charge their Chevrolet Bolt in front of District Hall, promoting a message of environmentalism.

“It’s a zero-waste trip,” said Boyd. “Every community in Canada that we’ve been in Canada, we’ve thrown zero ounces of garbage.”

In order to do this, they brought a portable electric composter with them along with reusable containers. They also only used plastics in communities that have recycling facilities. Piper also got to play his part by pooping into flushable bags.

“We’ve had a very, very interesting time doing that,” said Boyd.

Hetherington and Boyd are board members of Zero Waste Canada, and Hetherington explained that part of the trip involves reaching people one-to-one to spread their message.

“Zero waste is a grassroots movement,” said Hetherington. “We wanted to do something where we could reach people one-to-one at a park, in a restaurant, at their work in their own communities.”

Boyd said that the world would be a better place if individuals took initiatives to reduce their waste, such as through home composting, reusable bags, and not taking a straw for a drinks.

“I think sometimes we think that it’s somebody else’s fault, when it’s actually our fault,” said Boyd. “Instead of waiting for government to come and fix this, we have to change the way we behave.

“If we all did something, cumulatively, that’s going to have a net positive effect.”

Their route mostly stuck to the Trans-Canada Highway and they found that there were few charging stations in Northern Ontario. Boyd said that the car’s 400-kilometre range and efficient driving allowed them to make it between charging stations.

They could also charge it at a regular 110-volt outlet, although an overnight charge would only give them about 60 kilometres of range. Boyd said he had to use it once on the trip just to top up the battery.

The couple will leave at around 7:30 p.m. today and head home to Gibsons. This will be their last charge on the trip, they say.

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