Following on Lucia’s generous and informative blog on her personal experiences in becoming an EV owner and what it was like taking “Evie” the Tesla on her first long-distance road trip, it seems we now see EV news everywhere we turn. What a trendsetter our Lucia 😊.
Building out from this personal account, we share more EV news, taken from a wider lens, and happily it too is very positive news and on many levels – local, national and global.
Local Signs of EV Becoming Mainstream
Momentum to transition increasingly toward electric vehicle fleets is being propelled by many forces now – the economics of fuel costs, more choice in competitively priced EVs, government investments in essential EV infrastructure (charging stations) as part of ‘build back better’ economic recovery plans as much as being integral to government climate action plans, and more recently, motivated by geopolitical goals and sanctions to reduce global reliance on Russian oil and gas in the face of the Russian-Ukraine war.
In Canada, several recent articles offer evidence of EVs on the cusp of becoming mainstream at the local and national levels for many, if not all, the reasons above.
Various Police and Fire Services Purchasing Electric Vehicles
Starting with the local, this CBC piece on the Windsor Police Service’s plans “to purchase fully electric vehicles next year,” reports that as early as April 2023, “its goal is to start replacing older unmarked police vehicles, sometimes used for administrative purposes, with fully electric cars.” Reasons cited for making the shift – environmental benefits of moving away from fossil fuel use and “an ethical responsibility to lead by example” (says Barry Horrobin, director of planning and resources), and of course the current record-breaking fuel prices have the department looking at adopting EVs “a tad more aggressively”.
The article also profiles Quebec’s Service de police de la Ville de Repentigny (SPVR) as being “on the leading edge of putting fully electric front-line cruisers on the road.” Through the SPVR’s pilot project, it has purchased an all-electric emergency response car. “A Ford Mustang Mach-E is being retrofitted for police use with the help of Cyberkar, a company that specializes in technology for emergency vehicles.”
Further signs of EVs going mainstream south of the border are also noted: “The project is spreading, as officials in Quebec noted a police department in New York order 184 Ford Mustang Mach-E’s while looking to the SPVR for expertise learned during its trial.” (CBC -https://bit.ly/3NRzeah)
And, in news in Driving on other emergency vehicles, we learn that, “Brampton City Council approved the purchase of Ontario’s first electric-powered fire truck,” and “can stand tall alongside other world-class cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Los Angeles, and Vancouver, which all feature an electric-powered emergency response vehicle on their fleets.” Brampton has purchased “the Rosenbauer RT, the first EV fire truck on the market that meets firefighting standards” – learn more via the article – https://bit.ly/3J9Kuep and Rosenbauer RT brochure at – https://bit.ly/3NUzh5e.
National EV News
This CBC headline points to a promising shift at the national level – “Canada may have hit its EV target turning point,” while still watchful for confirming evidence in the budget.
“Electric car advocates are waiting to see spending details in this week’s federal budget, but for the first time, pro-EV business leaders and economists are expressing new optimism that Canada’s move away from internal combustion vehicles may have reached a turning point.”
“After years of excuses, there are signs that a conjunction of forces is pushing the country into a technological and social revolution that has been compared to going from horse to automobile and will bring affordable electric cars and trucks to roads and parking spaces across Canada.”
“High gasoline prices, a gradual increase in the price of carbon and a request by European powers for the world to use less fossil fuels to break Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s grip on their economies, are pushing us in that direction. A series of technological developments that have made electric vehicles not just as good as internal combustion vehicles but better and cheaper to run have helped make it possible.” (CBC – https://bit.ly/3Jg7us8)
We will look to the news on today’s release of the federal budget with heightened interest.
According to Narcity.com already the Canadian government mandates that 100% of light duty vehicles be zero emission by 2035 as they usually remain in service for about 15 years, so that will move Canada towards its goal of net zero by 2050. There is an interim target of “at least” 50% of vehicles sold be zero emission by 2030, only 8 years away.
Federal Government Funds EV and Battery Manufacturing Facilities
The Federal government is contributing $500 million to support the South Korean Battery Manufacturer LG Energy Solutions and automaker Stellantis for a total of $5 billion to build an Electric Vehicle battery factory in Windsor and this should create 2500 jobs. The city of Windsor is providing the land for the project that is the size of 112 NHL hockey rinks. (CBC: https://bit.ly/3DQnnVt)
“The federal and Ontario governments are investing up to $259 million each in the General Motors plant in Oshawa plant and its CAMI facility in Ingersoll including for electric-vehicle production. The government’s share announced Monday is part of a $2-billion GM investment to build the company’s first electric-vehicle production line in Oshawa. It will also support the construction of electric commercial vans under the new BrightDrop brand scheduled to roll off the line at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll later this year. The money will also allow a third shift in Oshawa to be added to produce more light-duty Chevy Silverado pickup trucks.” (CBC: https://bit.ly/3rapi1I)
Pocket Book Data: Electric Cars are Cheaper than Gas
Clean Energy Canada makes the budget case for going EV in this March 31st piece headlined, “Electric vehicles save Canadian drivers thousands over car’s lifetime, even at lower gas prices: analysis”
Its press release cites, “New analysis released today by Clean Energy Canada provides a clearer picture for consumers, calculating the total ownership costs of equivalent electric and gas cars, from purchasing, to refuelling, to maintenance.
“And in every case, the electric car comes out cheaper than the gas alternative.”
“The report, The True Cost, considers a number of Canada’s most popular car models and assumes each vehicle is owned for eight years, driven 20,000 kilometres annually, and (in the case of gas cars) fuelled with $1.35-per-litre-gasoline (the 2021 average).”
“For four out of our six comparisons, the total cost savings of going electric are in the order of $15,000 to over $19,000.” Projected savings would be even higher if current record-breaking prices at the gas pump become the norm.
More reasons confirming for Lucia that she made the right decision to become an early EV adopter!
To access the full True Cost report: https://bit.ly/3KfJsiD
About Clean Energy Canada, from its website:
- “Clean Energy Canada is a climate and clean energy program within the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University.”
- “We work to accelerate Canada’s clean energy transition by sharing the story of the global shift to renewable energy, clean technology, and sustainable industries. We conduct original research, convene influential dialogues, inform policy leadership, and drive public engagement.”
- “We believe Canada is well-positioned to be a global clean energy leader today and into the future, but time is of the essence.”
Global Clean Energy Trends
Momentum for clean energy uptake is growing globally, too, as reported by the climate and energy think tank, Ember.
Wind and solar generated 10% of global electricity for the first time in 2021, reports Ember’s third annual Global Electricity Review, with ‘fifty countries get(ting) more than a tenth of their power from wind and solar sources.”
“Demand for electricity grew at a record pace…The research shows the growth in the need for electricity last year was the equivalent of adding a new India to the world’s grid.”
“Solar and wind and other clean sources generated 38% of the world’s electricity in 2021. For the first time wind turbines and solar panels generated 10% of the total.”
“The share coming from wind and sun has doubled since 2015, when the Paris climate agreement was signed.”
“The fastest switching to wind and solar took place in the Netherlands, Australia, and Vietnam. All three have moved a tenth of their electricity demand from fossil fuels to green sources in the last two years.”
“The Netherlands is a great example of a more northern latitude country proving that it’s not just where the Sun shines, it’s also about having the right policy environment that makes the big difference in whether solar takes off,” said Hannah Broadbent from Ember.
“Vietnam also saw spectacular growth, particularly in solar which rose by over 300% in just one year.”
Ember is an independent, not-for-profit think tank. Its analysis is based on a dataset it makes available as an open source resource for others to use in an effort to help speed the switch to clean energy, and comprising “annual power generation and import data for 209 countries covering the period 2000 to 2020. For 2021, we have added data for 75 countries which together represent 93% of global power demand.”
“This summary report—and the data behind it—is an open resource. Reliable and transparent tracking of the global electricity sector is critical to ensure effective action at the time and scale needed to keep global heating to 1.5 degrees. Alongside this analysis, we offer the comprehensive data set freely available to download or explore via our data explorer.”
Clean Energy Canada: https://cleanenergycanada.org/
Earth Day 2022
The countdown is on. Mark your calendars for April 22nd – Earth Day 2022 is coming soon.
“The Earth Day 2022 Theme is Invest In Our Planet. What Will You Do?”
Readers may wish to consider action ideas offered in the Earth Day Organization’s Action Tool Kit – https://bit.ly/3ue2Maf
As the Earth Day official website notes, “More than 1 billion people in 192 countries now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Today, we invite you to be a part of Earth Day and to help further climate action across the globe.”
The Canopy Project
As you may have noticed, Lucia and Catherine are partial toward “all things trees” 😊 and so we are drawn especially to supporting the theme of Invest in Our Planet, via donating to tree-planting conservation and restoration initiatives such as The Canopy Project, which has been underway since 2010. To learn more about it: https://bit.ly/36XCiB2
Inviting the Artist in You…
We invite guest artists to consider creating an Earth Day piece (painting? photo? video? guest blog? other?) which we would feature happily and gratefully in our upcoming Earth Day blog.