Media Temporary: Countering widespread myths about electrical autos


Clear Vitality Canada is a clear power assume tank on the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser College. Via media briefs, we intention to supply helpful factual and contextual info associated to Canada’s clear power transition. Please use this as a useful resource, and tell us if there are any matters that you just wish to see for future media briefs. 


Electrical autos now make up 9% of recent automotive gross sales in Canada. In B.C. and Quebec, the market share is even greater, with electrical autos making up round 20% and 14% of recent automobiles offered in every province, respectively. However as EVs have gained in reputation, so have misinformed arguments towards their adoption. This media transient unpacks plenty of the most typical ones with related, publicly out there analysis. 

Delusion 1. “EVs have higher lifecycle emissions than gasoline automobiles”

Globally, electrical autos have been proven repeatedly to have decrease lifecycle emissions than conventional gas-powered autos even in areas with fossil-fuel-dependent electrical energy grids. Lifecycle emissions generally embody emissions from mineral sourcing like mining or recycling, mineral processing, car and battery manufacturing, automotive use and, in some instances, disposal and recycling at finish of life.

  • A examine from the Worldwide Council on Clear Transportation discovered that the lifecycle emissions of a brand new battery-electric car are decrease than a comparable gasoline automotive by round 60% to 69% within the U.S. and Europe and 37% to 45% in China, relying largely on the emissions depth of the electrical energy used to cost the car.
  • One other current examine (which incorporates battery recycling in its calculation) discovered that when charged with 100% renewable electrical energy, electrical autos are 89% decrease emission than gasoline autos. Canada’s electrical energy grid is presently 84% non-emitting. 
  • A examine from Ford Motors and the College of Michigan discovered that almost all passenger electrical autos have roughly 64% decrease lifecycle emissions than gasoline autos on common throughout the U.S.
  • A Canada-specific examine indicated that an EV would have decrease lifecycle emissions whatever the provincial grid it’s plugged into, with emissions financial savings relative to an equal gasoline automotive starting from 25% in Alberta to 85% in Quebec. Word that the federal authorities’s proposed Clear Electrical energy Rules would see Canada attain a net-zero grid by 2035. If achieved, EVs in Canada could be charged with even cleaner energy throughout the nation, additional decreasing their lifecycle emissions.
  • There’s a vital push to scale back emissions related to the manufacturing of EVs. Many automakers, like Tesla, Ford, and Common Motors, are investing in battery supplies recycling. Some are already preferentially shopping for supplies from mines and producers with decrease carbon footprints.

Delusion 2. “There should not sufficient metallic and mineral assets to provide electrical autos”

  • Research point out that there are enough reserves of key minerals to provide future world EV demand. Nevertheless, the adoption of recycling applied sciences is vital to decreasing the quantity of recent minerals and metals extracted, limiting environmental injury, and decreasing social and financial prices.
  • The Worldwide Council on Clear Transportation estimates that battery recycling can cut back the necessity for brand spanking new mining by 20% in 2040 and 40% in 2050 globally.
  • Provide constraints might trigger bottlenecks and value fluctuations within the close to time period, however these stresses can be non permanent if policymakers and trade anticipate and put together for them. In accordance with BloombergNEF, world battery manufacturing capability elevated 84% between 2019 and 2021. Canada is making vital efforts to construct its battery manufacturing capability, backed by the Crucial Minerals Technique, whereas the U.S.’s Inflation Discount Act is channeling billions of {dollars} towards constructing a North American battery provide chain.
  • The EV battery recycling trade is rising, with plenty of Canadian corporations displaying world management, together with Lithion and Li-Cycle. As well as, some jurisdictions—just like the EU—have set necessary recycled content material targets for cobalt, lead, lithium, and nickel from batteries. 
  • Many automakers have pledged to not use minerals sourced from deepsea mining.
  • Varied corporations are advancing battery applied sciences which might be much less mineral-intensive or depend on cheaper, extra available uncooked supplies (e.g. solid-state batteries and iron-phosphate batteries). China’s BYD, which is the world’s second-largest EV producer and in addition provides different carmakers with its battery know-how, introduced it could produce batteries with out nickel, cobalt, and manganese.

Delusion 3. “EV batteries want changing earlier than the car’s finish of life”

  • All EVs offered at the moment embody a battery guarantee of at the very least eight years and 160,000 kilometres. A current examine confirmed that almost all of EVs which have been pushed greater than 160,000 kilometres nonetheless retained at the very least 90% of their authentic vary. 
  • Tesla has claimed that the vary on its Mannequin S and X autos decreased by simply 12% after 321,000 kilometers of driving (these fashions are older and due to this fact provide insights based mostly on real-world knowledge). That is bolstered by a crowd-sourced examine by Tesla house owners within the Netherlands that discovered that long-range Teslas usually held at the very least 90% of their authentic cost after 240,000 kilometers of driving. 
  • EVs have fewer shifting elements, leading to much less engine put on, that means they’re prone to be longer-lasting than their gasoline counterparts and require fewer repairs.

Delusion 4. “EVs are much less reasonably priced than gasoline automobiles”

  • Clear Vitality Canada analyzed plenty of well-liked electrical automotive fashions, evaluating their complete possession prices with that of gasoline equivalents. With only one exception, the electrical model of each automotive analyzed was cheaper, normally considerably so.
  • Particularly, the evaluation discovered that the electrical Hyundai Kona, Canada’s second best-selling EV in 2021, is $17,800 cheaper to personal than the gas-powered Kona with a mean gasoline value of $2 per litre. Even at a gasoline value of $1.45, the Kona remains to be $10,500 cheaper. The electrical Chevrolet Bolt supplied much more price financial savings, with the comparable gas-powered Toyota Corolla costing $22,000 extra over its lifetime at a $2 gasoline value.

Delusion 5. “EVs would not have sufficient vary”

Delusion 6. “The grid can’t deal with EVs”

  • Whereas the swap to EVs would require good electrical energy planning, different international locations all over the world, like Norway (the place EVs account for some 80% of recent automobiles offered), haven’t skilled grid-related points because of excessive EV adoption.
  • In California, the place EV gross sales made up 21% of recent automotive gross sales within the first quarter of 2023 (the very best in North America, adopted carefully by B.C.), EV charging presently accounts for lower than 1% of the grid’s complete load throughout peak hours. In 2030, when EVs are set to account for 68% of recent gross sales, charging is projected to make up lower than 5% of that load.
  • A federal authorities examine on the anticipated electrical energy demand from EVs discovered that they might characterize 3.4%, 16.1%, and 22.6% of {the electrical} energy demand in 2030, 2040, and 2050 respectively. Because the examine states, “This quantity is critical, however because the development is unfold over 30 years, with a lot of the development occurring in the course of the 2030 to 2050 timeframe, Canadian utilities have ten years to refine the load forecast and plan for grid growth.”
  • Utilities and producers are additionally engaged on utilizing EVs to assist handle and decarbonize electrical energy grids. When plugged into the grid, EV batteries may present helpful energy storage by storing electrical energy of their batteries after which giving it again to the grid when required. One examine confirmed that electrical car batteries alone may fulfill short-term world grid storage demand by as early as 2030. Some Canadian utilities are additionally providing decrease off-peak electrical energy charges to encourage EV house owners to cost their EVs throughout instances of low demand, decreasing the necessity for additional capability. 
  • Probably the greatest methods to assist electrical utilities of their grid readiness efforts is to supply market certainty, one thing that’s supplied within the forthcoming zero-emission car regulated gross sales targets, which require an growing proportion of recent automobiles offered in Canada to be electrical.

Delusion 7. “EVs should not appropriate for chilly Canadian winters”

  • EVs do lose some vary throughout excessive chilly. Some research have proven vary loss to be no extra than 30% and as little as 8% for some makes and fashions. Nevertheless, different research of maximum chilly have discovered it to be between 30% and 50%.
  • EVs have significantly extra vary than required for many every day journeys (see fantasy 5).
  • What’s extra, chilly climate also can enhance gasoline automotive gas consumption by as much as 28%, successfully decreasing vary and growing gas prices.
  • As well as, most trendy EVs have battery heating choices that preheat the battery earlier than driving to scale back vary loss.
  • In contrast to a gasoline automotive, EVs would not have issues beginning in chilly climate, and lots of EVs permit house owners to remotely preheat the passenger compartment earlier than driving.
  • Quite a few Canadians have spoken about their experiences driving EVs in Canadian winters (see right here and right here).

Delusion 8. “EVs have a higher fireplace danger than gasoline automobiles”

  • A 2022 examine from insurance coverage web site AutoInsuranceEZ tracked automotive fires within the U.S., discovering that electrical autos noticed simply 25 fires per 100,000 EVs offered in comparison with 1,530 fires for each 100,000 gasoline automobiles. In different phrases, fires occurred in a single in each 4,000 EVs in comparison with one in each 65 gasoline automobiles.



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