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Aside from a few outliers, one to two per cent of the vehicles sold in most developed nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, are electric vehicles. Canada is a clear laggard, with market share well below one per cent.
This is nowhere near the goal set by the Clean Energy Ministerial for electric vehicles to make up 30 per cent of the vehicles sold by 2030, which seems to be the minimum trajectory to achieve the long-term mitigation goals for greenhouse gases.
Perhaps recognizing its lack of progress to date, the Canadian government plans to announce a Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Strategy in early 2018.
My team’s published research shows that some of the biggest barriers to EV sales are a lack of supply, limited availability and variety of EV makes and models, and limitations in charging infrastructure. The only thing that can overcome these barriers is public policy.
All of the improvements in cars and trucks over the last century, be they safety, environmental or otherwise, can be linked directly to policy. Seat belts, air bags, unleaded gasoline, fuel economy improvements — all came about through strong policy support.
How to get more electric vehicles on the road