EMC Conference Report

EMC Conference Report

With the Electric Mobility Conference of 2019 complete, fellow board members Arno and Heather have finished their Electric Road trip back to Vancouver Island and I have rejoined my family currently residing on the east coast of the United States.

 I have been thinking a lot about what I witnessed at this year’s Conference in Quebec City and I think we have a lot of work to do to accelerate change on a national level.

I learned there are forces at work that are trying to slow our progress from not only traditional Auto Manufacturers, but academia, and from the federal government itself.

I am not naive and knew this was present but not to the level I witnessed. It’s human nature is to resist change or embark on a path that might influence our own financial stability. But whether these concerns are justified or not, we seem to want to find a narrative that we can embrace regardless of scientific facts or others clearly demonstrating that there is a path to our goals that can be achieved with minimal disruption.

Despite this resistance to change, I also witnessed some new ideas to help move Canada forward, to work out the problems in front of us and attempt to work with ALL political parties to move us towards a cleaner future.

We, as individuals, have our own unique perspective and ideas. But when you form a group and try to find common ground to move society forward, it inevitably causes a dilution of the ideals that brought you to that group in the first place.

We need to stand our ground and hold onto what drives us to want to change and ensure the middle of the road is moved further in the direction needed.

The problem is the further from middle you go — the more “radical” you appear. Given this balance, I think enough voices saying we must move the middle forward allows the radical title to be reduced.

The one thing I clearly noticed at all EMC discussions was how Tesla was “a name that shall not be named”. The EV that starts with a T and ends with 3, despite being the leader in the field of battery technology and EV momentum, was something no one felt comfortable discussing.

In fact, the federal government still views the Model 3 as a “luxury” car and won’t consider it as a government fleet vehicle even though other luxury brands such as Lexus and Cadillac are regularly purchased. So work must be done to remind our political leaders to compare apples to apples and not allow optics to prevent making the right choice as a consumer.

I will continue my work to have our voice heard with other EV leaders across Canada and also work to ensure Tesla can be present at the next conference in Mississauga, Ontario (April 2020) to ensure all perspectives are considered and debated.

Thank you for your ongoing support and desire to accelerate the change. Together, we can change the world.

James Locke
President, Victoria EV Club