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ELECTRIC VEHICLES – OPPORTUNITIES FOR CANADA
Why the interest in electric vehicles (EV’s)?
The global interest in electric vehicles has been nothing short of astounding in the past year or so.
With the growing acceptance that the supply of fossil fuels is indeed limited, and with the
growing economies around the world placing more demand on this limited supply, significant
price increases at the pump will inevitably continue, notwithstanding occasional dips in the prices
as demand fluctuates in responses to dips in economic activities. The other key reason for the
growing interest in electric traction is the growing concerns about increasing emissions from
transportation. Despite improvements in internal combustion engines, emissions continue to
increase as kilometres travelled for personal and commercial uses continue their upward trend in
Canada and in most other countries.
2. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reduction
EVs are able to dramatically reduce GHG emissions due to their high energy efficiency and their
ability to be recharged by clean sources of energy. Canada already has a relatively clean
electricity grid and plans to make it still cleaner in the future. An EV recharged from the current
Canadian grid would, on average, reduce GHG emissions by about 85% compared to a gasoline-
powered vehicle. The reduction ranges from about 98% in hydro-dominant BC, Manitoba and
Quebec, to 45% in coal-dominant Alberta, with the other provinces being somewhere in between.
What is an electric vehicle?
An electric vehicle is one where one or more electric motors provides the traction for the vehicle
part of the time (hybrids and plug-in hybrids) or all of the time (grid connected, battery and/or
fuel cell). For purposes of this document, ‘Electric Mobility’ is defined as v