The rising cost of gas is expected to have far-reaching impacts in the Okanagan.

With gas prices hovering around the $2 mark in Kelowna, some car buyers are now thinking electric.

“Over the past few years, we’ve already seen some movement towards electrified vehicles, whether it’s a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully electric vehicle,” said Jamie Kaban, general manager of Kelowna Toyota.

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“With the increase in gasoline prices, we just saw an even bigger change. There (are) a lot of people coming and asking for hybrids right off the bat.

However, with supply chain challenges resulting in shortages of many vehicle types, there may be a wait time to enter an electric ride.

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“The biggest problem with this increase in demand and hybrids, there is not a huge increase in production yet,” Kaban said.

Kaban said Toyota was also struggling to get batteries for hybrid vehicles.

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“So while we would like to deliver the vehicles to customers, the supply just isn’t there yet,” Kaban said.

Meanwhile, at the Central Okanagan Food Bank, rising costs for everything from food to fuel are translating into increased demand for its services.

“What we’re seeing right now is people are really being impacted by the cost of inflation, gasoline prices and also food prices… What we’re hearing from our customers and people , is that it’s currently difficult to actually put food on the table,” said Trevor Moss, general manager of the Central Okanagan Food Bank.

The food bank wants to be clear: if you are having difficulty, they are there to help you.

“Some people feel like ‘I don’t think I should (contact the food bank),’ maybe there’s a stigma around that,” Moss said. “We just want to say, if anyone is struggling right now… we just ask them to call us and we’ll gladly take care of them.”

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Point Roberts woos gas-price-weary Canadians with ‘no test’ status

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