submitted by Jeff Goodman, Sustainable North Grenville
As we moved into high gear for planning this year’s return of the Sustainability Fair on Sunday, April 16 from 10 am to 3 pm, we started by asking ourselves a question: Do we bring back the Electric Vehicle show once again? We asked this of ourselves last year too, resolving that we would do so and subsequently welcoming over 1,000 visitors during the 5 hour event, and hosting a popular presentation on the subject.
Sales for 2022 reveal that Canadians purchased plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles at rates approaching 10% of new registered vehicles. While B.C. led the charge with nearly 1-in-5 sales being electric, Ontario broke through 5%, continuing to gain momentum year-over-year. Electric cars are not a novelty anymore, they’re commonplace.
People are choosing these vehicles for a variety of reasons. Regarding emissions, it’s true that Canada’s transportation emissions are the second largest national source at 24%, just a couple percentage points behind oil and gas, and shifting to electricity is a real opportunity. Ontario’s electricity generation produces an average of around 40 grams of CO2 per kWh (gCO2/kWh). An efficient electric car, achieving 100km on just 15kWh of electricity in the province of Ontario, would emit roughly 600 grams of CO2 on average. Overnight there are times that the grid falls to 6 gCO2/kWh, which is when most owners charge their vehicles due to cheaper time-of-use pricing. Consider that just 1L of gas or diesel produces nearly 3,000 grams and if we want to compare apples-to-apples, we must add to that the emissions to extract, refine and transport that fuel.
The cost of operation and ownership is a big factor. The same EV using 15kWh per 100km, if charged overnight at the highest rural rates in the Province from HydroOne, will cost $2.25 to drive that distance. Comparing to gas at a price of $1.40/L, a new Corolla costs between $8.00 and $10.60 to drive that same distance. With longer warranties, fewer maintenance visits, and sometimes discounts on insurance, the electric cars are especially compelling for those of us who drive a lot. The higher upfront cost is but one factor amongst all these considerations that, sometimes, can be more than offset by the savings.
Our show offers the advantage of seeing privately-owned vehicles with their owners. Visitors can ask questions to determine if a model will meet their needs, how they behave in a local winter, see some with high mileage and ask about durability and experienced cost of ownership. This is all from people who had these same questions before their purchase.
So we will return this year and fill part of the arena with electric vehicles. We anticipate having all the most popular recent models like the Ford F150 Lightning, Ford e-Transit van, Tesla, Hyundai Ioniq5 and so many more. The Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa will join us again and so will the EV Experience – which means there will be a variety of additional models onsite and ready for test drives for those who wish to sign up. More details on the display models will be provided as the event draws nearer, so be sure to watch this space or follow us on Facebook for announcements.