Should Your Next Vehicle be Electric?

Should you invest in an electric vehicle or “EV” to work on your personal greenhouse gas emissions? Or stick with your gasoline powered internal combustion engine – your “ICE”?

If you plan to charge it up off the provincial electric grid – then it depends where you live in Canada.

If you plan to install your own rooftop solar to do the job, then it’s simply a personal choice.

Luckily, our federal government through the Canada Energy Regulator has developed a handy link to help you decide –  Market Snapshot: How much CO2 do electric vehicles, hybrids and gasoline vehicles emit?

If you live in a region with a low or zero emissions electric grid, like Quebec or British Columbia, then the emissions reductions are pretty dramatic.

However, if you live in a region whose electricity is still generated with coal or diesel, like Alberta or Nunavut, you may be better off with a hybrid, or a small ICE.

Simply reducing the size or weight of your vehicle has big payoffs in regions where fossil fuels power the transmission grid.

There are of course, many other considerations, for instance:

  •  do you already have access to mass transit or car-share services?
  •  do you already get around mainly by walking or biking?
  •  do you live in a rural area where battery range or charge station access is an issue?
  •  how many people/equipment do you need to transport regularly?

Even if you are not in a position to consider a new vehicle, this comparison tool will help you gain insights into your personal emissions so you can assess opportunities to reduce!

Alisa Caswell has a degree in chemical engineering. She spent twenty years working in the oil and gas industry, including roles in operations and energy conservation. She previously held the position of Chair – Oil Sands, Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation (CIPEC). She lives in Fort McMurray, Alberta. You can follow her on  Facebook or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Sources:

[1]Photo by Mike from Pexels

[2] https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/nrg/ntgrtd/mrkt/snpsht/2018/09-01-1hwrnrgprjctsfnncd-eng.html?=undefined&wbdisable=true