Con­ver­gence and Col­lab­o­ra­tion for the Ben­e­fit of All Cana­di­ans

Toronto Star - - MEDIAPLANE­T - Chan­tal Gui­mont

Five years af­ter elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EVs) have hit the roads, there are more than 20,000 EVs in Canada. They are mainly con­cen­trated in Que­bec, B.C., and On­tario, where suc­cess­ful con­di­tions are of­fered by provin­cial gov­ern­ments, and many other ac­tive stake­hold­ers. Que­bec con­tin­ues to be the na­tional leader with nearly 50 per­cent of all Cana­dian sales. In 2016, Que­bec and On­tario showed ac­cel­er­ated sales, while B.C. had the most no­table jump, likely due to the rein­tro­duc­tion of their $5,000 provin­cial re­bate for elec­tric car buy­ers, and a con­firmed leader on a per-capita ba­sis.

To­day, EVs can ad­dress the needs of most of the po­ten­tial buy­ers, which is shown by the growth in di­ver­sity of the plug-ins sold. In the next two to three years, the ar­rival of af­ford­able EVs with more than 300 km range will play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the adop­tion of EVs to move for­ward from an early adopters mar­ket to a mass mar­ket.

A strong na­tional pol­icy on trans­porta­tion elec­tri­fi­ca­tion is re­quired now in Canada. EVs, a proven tech­nol­ogy, pro­duce low emis­sions and are an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity for the re­duc­tion of green­house gas (GHG) in trans­porta­tion. They are par­tic­u­larly ap­pro­pri­ate for Canada be­cause most of our elec­tric­ity is gen­er­ated from non-fos­sil fuel sources and the price of elec­tric­ity is fixed in Canada, not by the global oil mar­kets. Canada has lead­ing com­pa­nies in EVs and charg­ing tech­nolo­gies, and those busi­nesses will pros­per with the growth of EVs.

EVs are fun to drive, are four to six times cheaper to op­er­ate, when com­par­ing fuel costs, main­te­nance costs, and even in­sur­ance costs. They are an avail­able so­lu­tion to Canada’s emerg­ing en­ergy and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. EVs are truly good for Canada. It is im­por­tant to work on all modes of trans­porta­tion, for indi- vid­u­als, car shar­ing, and to in­crease the share of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion in pub­lic tran­sit. Elec­tric Mo­bil­ity Canada’s re­cent EV Roadmap rec­om­men­da­tions ad­dress these pri­or­i­ties. It is proven that the com­bi­na­tion of ed­u­ca­tion (to build aware­ness and pro­vide cor­rect and com­plete in­for­ma­tion), pro­mo­tion, in­cen­tives, in­fra­struc­ture, and avail­abil­ity (of dif­fer­ent mod­els, class types, and of in­ven­tory) is the best method to in­crease EV sales.

All rel­e­vant gov­ern­ments and stake­hold­ers need to work col­lab­o­ra­tively and in­ten­sify dis­cus­sions to bring prag­matic so­lu­tions for­ward, en­sur­ing a clean grow­ing econ­omy is as­so­ci­ated with trans­porta­tion elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, and the ob­jec­tives of the Low Car­bon Fund and its in­vest­ments. EMC rep­re­sents the com­plete value chain of trans­porta­tion elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, and wishes to be part of the dis­cus­sions. All Cana­di­ans have a key role to play in this ob­jec­tive. The World Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle Sym­po­sium has been gath­er­ing global lead- ers from in­dus­try, govern­ment, and academia to ad­dress tech­ni­cal, pol­icy, and mar­ket topics in the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of ve­hi­cle fleets, since 1969.

At EVS29, its 29th edi­tion in Mon­tréal in June 2016, the most prom­i­nent au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers in the world, lead­ing politi­cians, ex­ec­u­tives, and in­dus­try play­ers will share their knowl­edge, their suc­cesses, and views on how to man­age the ex­cit­ing tran­si­tion in front of us — to con­vince more con­sumers to adopt EVs. They will share the lat­est de­vel­op­ments re­gard­ing bat­tery ad­vance­ments, stor­age, DCFC (fast charg­ing), and other charg­ing tech­nol­ogy, grid man­age­ment, suc­cess­ful mar­ket and reg­u­la­tory poli­cies in all modes of trans­porta­tion, to help shape the fu­ture of trans­porta­tion. The evo­lu­tion of tech­nol­ogy re­gard­ing autonomous ve­hi­cles and the tech­nol­ogy tran­si­tion to light and medium duty trucks are also just around the corner, and will be ad­dressed at EVS29.

Pres­i­dent, CEO, Elec­tric Mo­bil­ity Canada Chan­tal Gui­mont

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