Here’s why to drive an electric vehicle

Re: ‘Electric car craze not so exciting’ (Letters, PQB News, Nov. 26)

Al Dewey asks to be enlightened about the electric car craze. As an energy journalist who has reported extensively about electric vehicles (EVs) over the past five years, I am happy to oblige.

Why buy an EV?

In the past, EV sticker prices have been higher than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. That will change next year because battery prices have plummeted by 50 per cent since 2017. A new study from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) says they will fall another 50 per cent by 2030.

EVs require almost no maintenance and they last longer than ICE cars, so their total cost of ownership is already lower. EVs are built to last 500,000 miles, but they will soon last one million miles.

Recharging an EV costs between $2 and $10. Compare that to filling the tank with gas at $1.40 per litre.

While EVs don’t emit, zero-emissions requires clean electricity. In B.C., 97 per cent of power is hydro; that number is 60 per cent nationally, while 77 per cent of Canadian power is considered to be low-carbon. By 2030, all coal-power plants will be shuttered.

Mr. Dewey raises valid concerns about battery manufacturing, recycling and disposal. Addressing them properly requires more space than I have here, but an RMI analyst says that tens of billions are being invested in engineering solutions to those problems and industry is confident they can be addressed.

Driving an EV, even a boring grocery-getter, is like driving a sports car because of an electric motor’s superior torque. If you enjoy driving, EVs are flat out a better time behind the wheel.

Depending upon the forecasting agency, by 2030 EVs will total 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the global auto fleet (currently 1.5 billion), and by 2050 100 per cent of vehicles will be electric.

The future is electric and it will be better, cheaper, and more environmentally sustainable.

Markham Hislop


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