Electric vehicles: It could be the future for Canada

Electric cars are taking off in North America. But is that translating into Canadian growth for local manufacturers?

The answer could be yes. Global electric vehicle sales grew 147 percent last year to 537,000, in part fueled by Tesla’s car that went into production in 2017, according to a new study by the Electric Drive Transportation Association.

The numbers are pretty staggering: Worldwide, 2017 EV sales soared 268 percent to 2.1 million vehicles. Meanwhile, as EV sales rocketed, sales of gas cars continued to plummet. Overall gasoline sales fell 14 percent last year.

Canadians, apparently, are quite interested in electric vehicles. A recent study by the Public Policy Forum found that the number of EV owners grew by 42 percent in the United States last year, while it increased just 7 percent in Canada. The PPF project manager who worked on the report, Sean Shafer, said, “This is important not just for American motorists, but Canadian motorists as well.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are setting out to double the share of electric cars on Canadian roads by 2030.

Electricity companies are also hoping electric vehicle production helps to reduce carbon emissions and make more batteries available for electric-powered cars.

One of Canada’s largest electric vehicle manufacturers is supplying Nissan with Leafs. And the company that makes the Hexoginn solar car is also hoping to expand production in its Winnipeg plant.

Charged by Energy Canada

TECH NEWS! The electric vehicle – always the cheapest to produce – grows in popularity around the world. At least it did in 2017, when sales doubled from 2016’s 1.5 million models.

Expanding the average battery size and increasing new battery supply from 30 to 70 nanometers will help EV sales grow even more in 2018, according to a new report by the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA).

Converting sales of gas vehicles to EVs has been one of the recent pledges by the governments of Canada and the United States, as they seek to curtail carbon emissions and build cleaner infrastructure. A big part of the goal is to place more electric cars on the road. This might make things easier for electric-car makers to operate in Canada. So far in 2018, Tesla Canada said it has sold about 5,000 cars, up 65 percent from a year ago.

The EV market in Canada may grow to more than 600,000 by 2025. While the market remains small today compared to the United States, it does have a higher share of private and public chargers than in the United States. Ontario alone had 134,000 public chargers available for electric vehicles as of May. That’s the same as all the electric vehicles sold by all the vehicle makers in that province in 2017.

Utilities around the world are investing heavily in vehicle charging infrastructure. Power companies are also investing to increase storage and data collected from the chargers. The hope is that this will help electric vehicle manufacturers, automakers and power companies further develop electrical charging technology and improve battery technology and its efficiencies.

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