For some, the word “heritage” brings up images of palatial homes with detailed mouldings, intricate windows, and expensive heating bills. At VHF, we are fighting the misconception that old ideas are inefficient and need to be thrown out to make way for new ones. We agree that beautiful craftsmanship from bygone eras should be preserved for future generations, but we also believe in heritage as a method of sustainability. Heritage conservation offers a way to lessen our carbon footprint by using manpower to rebuild, versus machine power to tear down. It also keeps useful materials out of over flowing landfills and lessens the drain on new resources. So when it comes to our programming, we like to take opportunities to celebrate other ways to create sustainable, environmentally responsible neighbourhoods that incorporate old ideas with the new.
So where are we heading with all this. One of Vancouver’s newest alternatives to harmful fossil fuels, is actually based on a technology that is over 100 years old. The electric car, now a staple in many modern driveways, can actually be traced back to inventions dating to the mid 1800’s. Recent advancements in battery storage and power, paired with rising fuel costs, have transformed them from a science experiment into a viable alternative to gasoline power. So what goes better with an efficiently upgraded 100 year old home, than an efficiently upgraded 100 year old transportation idea?
It’s easy to think of green issues as modern issues, and forget that there is value in learning from our forefathers. Some pretty crazy ideas have gone on to become celebrated and normalized aspects of our modern world (planes anyone?). So celebrate the visionaries of the 19th Century who believed in a vehicle run on batteries, a century before it would become commonplace.
Join us tomorrow night, March 19th for “100 Years of the Electric Car” a lecture hosted at the University Women’s Club at Hycroft. $12 gets you in the door and you’ll hear all about the history of electric vehicles in BC, and even get to compare the originating technology of a 1912 Detroit Electric with the modern application in a 2012 Chevy Volt, and a Porsche converted to electric power (pictured left).