Electric vehicles make big impact on small business

For Big Spruce Brewing Founder Jeremy White, the choice to bring an electric vehicle (EV) into the fleet is logical not just for them, but for any small business looking to make a big difference in how they operate.

Based in Nyanza, Cape Breton, Big Spruce Brewing is Nova Scotia’s only certified organic brewery and has become a destination for travelers embarking on tours of the Cabot Trail.

The increasing demand for Big Spruce’s beer across the province meant they needed another fleet vehicle. Rather than going with what they know, the company chose an EV, which Jeremy described as a “no-brainer” for a company with an environmental focus.

Jeremy specifically wanted a small-capacity vehicle that could efficiently get around the province dropping beer off to people, and the Hyundai Kona Electric Vehicle ticked all of those boxes.

“It is the future,” Jeremy proclaims. “Not just in terms of needing to do something about climate change, but in terms of needing to do something about combustion engines as well.”

Most importantly for a busy small business, it was an easy transition as the team got used to planning routes around Nova Scotia’s various public chargers that are all “dead easy” to use. With over 160 public chargers already scattered around the province and more coming all the time, it will only get easier to plan efficient routes on long trips.

You don’t have to be a big organisation to receive the benefits of owning an EV. Even with just the one EV in the fleet, Jeremy has noticed a stark difference in operational costs between his team’s Kona and the rest of the fleet. Outside of charging, Jeremy hasn’t had to invest for vehicle maintenance. Combining the low running costs with up to $8,000 in rebates should make electric vehicles an attractive proposition for small businesses throughout Nova Scotia, especially as businesses can claim up to 10 rebates per calendar year.

Jeremy is enthusiastic about EVs as a tool for other small businesses, especially after the Kona has become such a reliable workhorse. It regularly makes trips from Cape Breton to Halifax and back, and it’s racked up 29,000 kilometres of travel in just its first year. Despite the high mileage, innovative EV features like regenerative braking, where the electric motors slow the vehicle down, mean there’s very little wear and tear on the vehicle.

“It’s a really efficient way to drive, it’s a really fun way to drive,” Jeremy said. “It’s the future, and we need more of us.”

The Next Ride team are touring Nova Scotia and want you to experience the excitement of electric vehicles. Book yourself in for a test drive and see how an EV could fit your lifestyle.

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