Founder, Prince George Electric Vehicle Association & Member, EV Society
Canada’s Clean Fuel Standard
One of the most important actions the Canadian Government can take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to stimulate growth in clean technologies is the passing of the Clean Fuel Standard. The crediting of all electricity used in electric vehicle (EV) charging, as included in an earlier draft of the Clean Fuel Standard, provides tremendous opportunity.
Recognizing electricity and EVs as a clean solution makes perfect sense. In places like British Columbia, where almost all of the electricity is produced by hydro, solar, and wind, an EV emits about 98% less GHGs (CO2) than the conventional gas or diesel vehicle. EVs fueled with carbon-intensive electricity, such as provided in Alberta, emit about 50% less GHGs than the conventional gas or diesel vehicle. These emmision reductions are all the more significant when you recognize transportation accounts for 25% of all Canadian GHG emissions.
Reducing our GHG emissions will mitigate the impacts of climate change, resulting in less damage and burden to current and future generations. However, reduction in tailpipe CO2 emmissions are not the only advantages of EVs.
Electric vehicles and our health
While not all pollution is caused by transportation, it does account for a lot of it. Furthermore, the pollution from internal-combustion engine vehicles is emitted at the ground level in the midst of people. According to Health Canada, about 14,600 people die prematurely due to air pollution every year. And there are the additional non-mortality health effects associated with transportation‐related air pollution, including asthma and cardio‐pulmonary disease.
With no tail pipe, no fine particulate emission, and no burning of chemicals, EVs do not pollute the air. This saves lives, reduces health care costs and reduces the taxes people need to pay to support health care.
Less expensive to operate an electric vehicle
Data collected by Doug Beckett, founder of the Prince George Electric Vehicle Association in Northern British Columbia, from the EVs he has been driving since 2009 indicates it is equivalent to 25 cents a litre to drive an EV. British Columbia Hydro, which has been collecting real-life data from EVs driving the roads and highways for a number years, has found the same result.
In addition, the cost to maintain an EV with its 200 moving parts is much less expensive than maintaining a conventional gas or diesel vehicle with their 2,000 moving parts. Beckett suggests you could save up to $80,000 in 400,000 kilometres of driving an EV.
Tell your neighbour and the Canadian Government that EVs are slowing climate change, clearing the air, saving lives, and benefitting the economy.
Doug Beckett is the founder of the Prince George Electric Vehicle Association, a chapter of the EV Society. Being a bit of a data geek, Doug has been monitoring the cost of driving a converted electric pick-up truck, a 2013 and a 2016 Nissan Leaf, in Prince George, BC since 2009.