Canada’s electric car problem/opportunity

Oil, pipelines and ICE engines are on their way out, while electric cars and renewable energy are entering a global boom period. What old tech is taking away from our economy, new tech can give back, but Canada needs to shift gears quickly.  See, Out of juice: Canada’s electric car problem:

The global shift to electric cars is now well underway and accelerating, bringing with it big changes for drivers, companies, industries and governments around the world.

But as other nations accelerate, Canada is coasting — on both EV policy and per-capita sales.

It’s not for lack of interest: Canadians must wait months to get their hands on new EVs when they hit the market. Worse still, we’re missing out on opportunities to innovate, to make our economy cleaner and more competitive, to reduce pollution — and its public health and climate change impacts — and to export our metals and minerals to a growing global marketplace.

As usual, the game-changer likely will be China, which has signaled it intends to ban internal combustion vehicle sales, similar to bans planned in Norway, the Netherlands, Scotland, France and the U.K.

What Canada needs to do asap:

  • Define success and commit to a set of clear, ambitious national EV adoption targets that increase over time, backed by a policy framework to achieve them.

  • Make it easier for Canadians to choose electric by requiring auto manufacturers to ensure that a minimum and growing percentage of all passenger cars sold in Canada will be zero-emissions vehicles — an approach pioneered in California and recently adopted in Quebec. This could be supported by a federal point-of-sale rebate, a proven approach.

  • Make it easier for Canadians to plug in by developing an EV-charging-infrastructure plan, informed by EV sales targets, to ensure drivers can charge up where they live, work and shop, as well as between major centres.

  • Maximize clean-growth potential by updating and expanding the Electric Vehicle Technology Roadmap for Canada, identifying the emerging opportunities in manufacturing, software and innovation, such as autonomous vehicles.

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