CEA stands behind Need for Government Support for Electric Vehicles

OTTAWA (March 18, 2019) – Today, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) announced support for the recommendations of the Interim report from the Advisory Council on Climate Action. These include incentives for Canadians to purchase electric vehicles (EVs) and support for EV charging stations, including at workplaces, apartment and condo buildings.

“Electrifying personal vehicles represents the next best step to meeting Canada’s environmental targets and builds on our clean energy advantages,” noted Francis Bradley, Chief Operating Officer of CEA. “CEA member companies are committed to fostering this transition by supporting the expansion of charging infrastructure and building the smart grids of tomorrow.”

Canadian electricity companies and manufacturers have embraced the introduction of EVs and are working with technology leaders on managing residential charging and integrating high-speed charging stations into the system.

The electricity sector has been central to Canada’s ability to address climate change. More than 80% of power produced in Canada is non-emitting, and the sector has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 30% since 2005 and is on pace to double this by 2020. Electricity is integral to Canada’s clean energy future.

“Canadians understand how electric vehicles will help them to individually address climate change and are clearly interested in embracing them,” said Bradley, “Ultimately, reducing carbon emissions is about more than just putting a price on carbon, it’s about finding ways Canadians can have an impact on the environment. Expanding use of Zero-Emissions Vehicle must be part of that.”

“Consumer demand for EVs is growing,” said Cara Clairman, President and CEO of Plug’n Drive. “Ever since EVs were first introduced to Canada, there has been consistent year-over-year sales growth. In 2018 alone, Canada experienced a 125% increase in EV sales and there are now over 100,000 EVs on the road and counting. Not only do EVs save drivers money on fuel and maintenance, they also represent Canada’s best opportunity to drive down greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.”

As more electric vehicles hit the road, Bradley emphasized how imperative it is for electricity utilities to have access to consumer data and are given the ability by regulators to invest in these new customer demands. The report from the Advisory Council on Climate Action shows that 97% of EV’s purchased in Canada occurred within provinces offering incentives.

“The interim report form the Advisory Council on Climate Action offers valuable recommendations for the transportation sector. However, we know the movement towards electrification will occur across industries including Canada’s building sector including space heating, water heating and industrial applications,” notes Bradley, “We look forward to the full report being released later this spring.”

CEA is focused on promoting Electric Vehicle sales in Canada by co-sponsoring a series of awards with Plug n’ Drive that recognize leadership in EV sales at the dealership level. Awards will be presented at an Awards ceremony on May 5th in Quebec City.

Previously the Canadian government has supported EV sales through the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative and the Smart Grid Program.