David Grove bought his Nissan Leaf about six years ago and has never looked back.

“I enjoy it still to this day as much as I did the day I bought it. I really, really like the car. Best car I’ve ever owned,” Grove said.

Fifty-thousand kilometres later, he says he’s spent $400 on maintenance and $700 on electricity — and he’s still on his original set of brakes.

With gas prices going up, Grove is enjoying the savings.

“It’s not very nice but when I see the price go up, I kind of like it because it means I’m saving even more money,” he said jokingly. “It’s kind of mean, I guess.”

According to the Fraser Basin Council, there were 8,000 plug-in vehicles in B.C. last year, a 53 per cent increase from the year before.

B.C. and Quebec have the highest adoption rates in the country, followed by Ontario.

“Incentives definitely make a difference because the capital costs of the cars are typically more expensive than a regular vehicle,” said Charlotte Argue from the Fraser Basin Council. “And not everyone looks at the entire operating costs over the lifetime of the vehicle when they make that purchasing choice.”

At Campus Nissan, the 2018 Leaf is a rare commodity.

Customers who sign up today can expect to wait two to three months to get one.

“Some of the customers that have ordered these have ordered them as early as last September all the way up until now, and we have about 55 preorders,” said sales manager Mandu Gobel.

According to the Fraser Basin Council, the main factors that are slowing adoption rates are a shortage of vehicles, a lack of charging at home in some cases and (to a lesser extent) range anxiety.

Still, in some areas, like Salt Spring Island, Argue says there are now more charging stations than gas stations.

It’s good news for Grove, who’s already on the waitlist for a Tesla Model 3.

Calvin To