Red Deer City councillor and business owner Paul Harris has traded in his diesel powered Smart Car for a new electric one.

Councillor gets a charge out of driving his electric car

Coun. Paul Harris is driving off the grid with his electrifying ride. Harris is one of a handful of car owners in Red Deer who recently traded diesel for chargers when his Smart Fortwo Electric Drive arrived just over a week ago.

Coun. Paul Harris is driving off the grid with his electrifying ride.

Harris is one of a handful of car owners in Red Deer who recently traded diesel for chargers when his Smart Fortwo Electric Drive arrived just over a week ago.

The second-term city councillor has been waiting for his 100 per cent electric wheels for two years. He ordered his $27,000 car as soon as it was available in Canada and at a price that he could afford. There were some delays in production so he waited about a year and a half before the wheels arrived from the Mercedes-Benz plant in Hambach, France.

“I believe electric cars are the way of the future,” said Harris. “They reduce greenhouse gas emissions and smog. They are more environmentally friendly all around . . . . It’s cool to be a councillor with an electric car.”

Harris said the main difference with an electric car is the silence and the pickup. Harris said his new wheels can accelerate from zero to 60 km/h in 4.8 seconds, zero to 110 km/h in 11.8 seconds and can reach up to speeds of 125 km/h.

“It’s quiet,” said Harris. “You just turn the key. You don’t know it’s on. It doesn’t start up. It just says ready on the dash. You put it in gear and away it goes.”

Harris said he looked at a few other electric cars but settled on a Smart Car because he is loyal to the brand.

“(The others) looked just like a regular car,” said Harris. “This one is a little more fun.”

The battery holds a charge good for about 140 km, just short of a trip to Edmonton or Calgary. The lithium-ion battery takes 16 hours to charge using a typical 120 V socket and about half that time at a charging station.

“I wouldn’t go to Calgary just yet,” said Harris. “I am running the seat warmers and the heaters. That’s all electric. That would eat up some of the charge. I don’t think I would make it to Calgary.”

Peavey Mart installed electric car chargers at its locations in Red Deer and Blackfalds last summer. Harris will likely only use the charging station in a fix as he plans to charge his car overnight in his garage. He said he expects his power bill to increase slightly but he will pay no more than what he paid for diesel.

Harris, who lives in Grandview, is also installing solar panels on his house roof. He said people could say he is not reducing greenhouse gas emissions because he is now using coal-powered electricity. But he said he buys green power through Bow Valley Power for his businesses and his car.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Advocate poll shows another hospital wanted in Red Deer

Over 50 per cent of voters support second hospital

Olds RCMP has new detachment commander

Staff Sgt. Jim MacDonald now on the job

Off-highway vehicles recovered on Sunchild

Rocky Mountain House RCMP notifying owners

Alberta’s status of women minister joins Twitter debate over women’s marches

EDMONTON — A minister in Alberta’s NDP government has chastised a tweet… Continue reading

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month