Posted by: jmtoriel | December 27, 2014

The Great Shift Forward

2015 is the year to release addiction to oil and embrace a low carbon life.


The world is on the cusp of a renewable energy revolution, and Canadians are participating. The 10,000th electric car is about to be purchased in Canada this month. Despite the recent elimination of a $5000 rebate for electric powered vehicles (EVs) in the last provincial budget, plenty are plugging into a cleaner future while our governments remain idle.


It’s time to take part in the Great Shift Forward — a critical time in our collective history where we abandon “fossilfuelishness” for a cleaner energy future. As long as we stay tethered to our internal combustion engines, Big Oil pundits and lobbyists have a point in expressing that we all “need” them.  Many people remain uncertain, but here’s why switching to an EV makes sense.


There’s a quiet revolution happening in the world of transportation — not just in emergence of EVs like the Tesla Model S, BMW i3, Nissan Leaf or plug-in hybrids like the GM Volt. Electricity is being used not only to provide propulsion for cars and Skytrains but access to charging is taking away range anxiety with greater accessibility throughout BC — there are now about 1000 240V public chargers (See


Canada is a laggard in green policies for transportation which accounts for 31% of our energy use and 37% of greenhouse gas emissions. The true cost of conventional gas vehicles is heavily externalized. Electric Mobility Canada states that at $25 per tonne, EVs would save society around $2,500 per vehicle per year thanks to the difference in emissions between internal combustion engines (ICE) and their electric counterparts.


By examining the entire energy value chain from “well to wheels,” a captivating fact comes into view…

Typical internal combustion vehicles convert 30% of the energy into traction and the rest of the energy is lost as heat. In contrast, electric motors convert 90%. On the basis of efficiency alone, EVs are in a category of their own — with most achieving MPG equivalence surpassing 100 — about three times the average and 1/10th the cost to operate and maintain.


Besides opposing pipeline projects and driving less, another way to stand against fossilfuelishness is to stop driving ICE cars.


Here are five reasons why you should set the intent to buy an electric vehicle as your next car:


  1. Efficiency: EVs use about 1/10th of a “fuel efficient” internal combustion car. Electric motors transfer 90% of their battery power to the wheels, losing very little energy as waste heat and have no tailpipes.
  2. Clean Grid: Here in B.C. electricity comes from renewable sources, so electric vehicles release 97% less greenhouse gas emissions than their ICE counterparts.
  3. Charging on-the-go: Most EV drivers charge conveniently at home, but with 1000 charging stations throughout the province and high-speed (80% in 20 minutes) DC chargers, you can drive electric with greater confidence.
  4. Stick it to Big Oil: They’re down but not out. You can help further reduce demand.
  5. Greater Peace & Security: –  Hostilities in the Middle East, expansion of the tar sands,  infrastructure (like pipelines), rail accidents (like the Lac Mégantique disaster), air pollution and lung conditions like asthma associated with tailpipe emissions, increased numbers of tankers along our coastlines, potential colossal oil spills and staggering price fluctuations.

Start off the new year with a test drive.

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