Alberta Embraces Green Transportation Options

By Bridget Brown; Posted May 09, 2018

In the heart of oil country, more Albertans than ever are choosing sustainable travel methods. The sale of battery-powered vehicles in Alberta jumped 43% from 2016 to 2017. Alberta is now the fourth-largest adopter of electric vehicles (EVs) in Canada, after Ontario, Quebec and B.C.

 

While our EV market is still small, Alberta shows surprising growth trajectory:

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 % Change
# New EVs Sold* 38 42 104 159 226 495%
# New Vehicles Sold Overall    263 224    277 191    241 976    223 651    248 813    5%

 

These numbers represent a 495% jump in EV sales between 2013 - 2017. This comes while overall new vehicle sales in Alberta actually decreased 5% during that same time frame.

 

For those who are hesitant to switch to an electric vehicle, one common reason given in Alberta is our climate. Some people worry about battery performance in the cold winter months.

 

 

“We run a fleet of EVs between Calgary and Edmonton but we’ve seen excellent range with the vehicles in the winter,” says InOrbis CEO Rosario Fortungo, “and there have been anecdotal studies that the batteries in these vehicles can last up to 800 000 kilometres.”

 

Why? Here are some reasons Alberta drivers are becoming more willing to consider EV travel:

 

  • Cost: drivers save an average of $700/year to refuel their vehicle when switching to electric battery power. Fewer parts in an EV motor mean a much lower lifetime maintenance cost. No more oil changes.

  • Choice: drivers can choose from more than 40 models of electric battery powered vehicle. From the high-end Teslas to the lower-priced Nissan and Chevrolet commuter cars, there is an EV for everyone. All the major manufacturers are coming out with long-range EVs by the end of next year. Right now the Nissan Leaf is the best-selling electric vehicle.

  • Infrastructure: Alberta recently got its first true “charging corridor,” meaning public stations to charge EVs are now available roadside in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton.

“Albertans are beginning to value sustainability more and more,” says Fortugno.

 

“We appreciate the benefits and value the oil and gas industries bring to our province, but at the same time many people are choosing to reduce their own personal consumption. Choosing sustainable transportation, instead of flying or driving your own gas vehicle, is a convenient and cost-effective way to do that.”

 

“I think we’re right at an inflection point right now. My prediction is that we’re going to start seeing EV sales equal or surpass gas cars in some areas.”

 

*This number includes battery electric motor vehicles only, it does not include plug-in hybrids.

 

-Sources: FleetCarma.com, ATCO.ca, AMA, Statistics Canada

 

 

 

About the author: 

 

Bridget Brown

 

Bridget Brown is a Calgary-based writer. She runs Create That Communications, a marketing agency specializing in compelling storytelling. Bridget is an award-winning former broadcaster; she spent 15 years reporting and producing for stations across Canada.

 

 

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