Electric vehicle (EV) technology presents an enormous opportunity to help provinces and territories reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector, which is the second largest contributor to GHGs in Canada.
A collaborative report released today in Ottawa by Bruce Power, Plug’n Drive, Pollution Probe and the University of Waterloo’s Department of Chemical Engineering, explores ways to build upon existing policy framework at the federal and provincial levels with respect to plug-in EVs.
The report, titled Accelerating the Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles in Canada and Ontario, also highlights opportunities to accelerate and optimize the decarbonization capability of EVs.
“Canada, as a whole, is blessed with a relatively low-carbon electricity mix, making it an optimal country to adopt EVs and realize deep decarbonization benefits,” said James Scongack, Vice President, Corporate Affairs. “Ontario, B.C. and Quebec are leading the way for EV adoption, and each has their own specific approach, but as outlined in the report, each strategy should consider electricity supply mix, distribution, demand and grid stability, public charging infrastructure, retail experience, public awareness and government coordination.
“We also must recognize that Canada’s oil and gas sector will continue to be a large portion of our economy providing needed jobs and investment – their success and continued investment in new infrastructure is essential to our broader goal of building a modern, cleaner energy sector,” Scongack added.
Steve McCauley, Pollution Probe’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, said the time is now to accelerate efforts to decarbonize the transportation system, building off clean electricity systems in many Canadian jurisdictions such as Ontario, which phased out coal-fired electricity in 2014.
“The Government of Canada and many provinces such as Ontario are moving ahead aggressively in their climate strategies to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles,” McCauley said. “We must create and implement policies that will build on these commendable actions by governments, and put more EVs in more driveways to support the transition to low-carbon transportation. The technology of emissions-free vehicles is improving every year, and infrastructure upgrades are happening continuously across the province and nationally. Driving an EV is no longer a novelty; it is a practical mode of transportation, with the benefit of generating no carbon emissions.”
The release of the reports comes at a time when both provincial and federal governments are developing and implementing policy to meet short-, medium- and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets, said Cara Clairman, Plug’n Drive’s President and CEO.
“Electric vehicles are undoubtedly the future of a cleaner, less carbon-intensive transportation system in Ontario and across Canada,” Clairman said. “Through a collaborative mindset and a common focus of increasing EV usage, governments, businesses and non-profit organizations can work together to make EVs more economical and practical for both rural and urban residents by implementing many of the strategies outlined in this report.”
Some of the report’s key recommendations include:
- Ensuring provincial governments maintain and, where applicable, improve its lower-carbon energy supply mix of nuclear, hydroelectric, renewables and natural gas to support its enhanced EV adoption.
- The federal government should work with provinces and territories to develop individual clean transportation plans that account for energy supply mix. Those locations with more carbon-intensive supply mixes should be encouraged to create a strategy that balances emissions reductions realized from EVs and those from the electricity sector.
- The provincial government should develop a plan to address the long-term sustainability of the EV public charging station network being built through Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) program funding, to ensure initial investment is maintained.
- Future EV infrastructure incentives should be reduced to partially government funded, to encourage partnerships with the private sector.
- Assigning a lead ministry or agency within provincial governments with a mandate to implement Ontario’s vision related to EV deployment.
- The federal government should consider a national study that evaluates the EV experience across Canada and identifies opportunities and barriers to EV deployment.
- Automotive manufacturers, dealerships, governments and non-governmental organizations should work together to explore options for increasing EV inventory at dealerships, and consider committing to a percentage of dealerships that will have cars at any time. Enhanced financial incentives and recognition for salespeople should also be considered.
- The provincial government should ensure fulfillment of its commitment to create an EV Showcase and support for other public awareness strategies as outlined in the 2016 Ontario Climate Change Action Plan.
- The federal government should formally commit to and deliver on converting a portion of its operational fleet to EVs to demonstrate their viability to Canadians.
Compare the benefits of Electric vs. Gas vehicles through Bruce Power’s EV calculator and learn more about the collaborative Plug’n Drive/Bruce Power iPhone App, which can be downloaded through iTunes.
About Bruce Power
Bruce Power operates the world’s largest operating nuclear generating facility and is the source of 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity. The company’s site in Tiverton, Ontario, is home to eight CANDU reactors. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an all-Canadian partnership among Borealis Infrastructure Trust Management (a division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), TransCanada, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of Energy Professionals. A majority of Bruce Power’s employees are also owners in the business.
About Plug’n Drive
Plug’n Drive is a non-profit organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles to maximize the environmental and economic benefits. Since 2011, Plug’n Drive has established itself as a leader in the electric vehicle industry. It is a trusted source of unbiased information about electric cars, charging stations and the electricity sector.
About Pollution Probe
Pollution Probe is a national, not-for-profit, charitable organization that works to improve the health and well-being of Canadians by advancing policy and delivering programs that achieve positive, tangible environmental change. Pollution Probe has a proven track record of working in successful partnership with industry and government to develop practical solutions for shared environmental challenges.
For further information, please contact:
Bruce Power Duty Media – 519-361-6161
Plug’n Drive – 647-717-6941
Pollution Probe – 416-926-1907