Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau
An open letter on climate change to Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau
December 12, 2015
Dear Prime Minister:
Regarding: Accelerating the electrification of the transportation sector
The greatest and most immediate opportunities to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are in the transportation sector which accounts for 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. As opposed to fossil-fueled vehicles, electric vehicles emit no CO2, no nitrous oxides, and no carbon particulates at the point of consumption.
Greenhouse gases are the single biggest contributor to climate change. The reduction of emissions in other sectors such as oil & gas, power generation, buildings and agriculture is also of vital importance but will take decades to implement.
At one time a common belief was that the impact of climate change could be mitigated before seriously impacting our children and our grandchildren. It is now evident that climate change is accelerating at such a pace that it is already impacting our current generation.
Progressive auto manufacturers continue to increase electric vehicle offerings but the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles in Canada is being hampered by: insufficient transition incentives, the lack of Canadian availability of many electric models that are currently sold in other markets; gaps in charging infrastructure; education and awareness; and slumps in oil prices.
Other countries continue to lead by providing incentives for electric vehicle purchases during the transition period to electrification with such measures as vehicle sales mandates and reductions in taxes for electric vehicle purchases.
Although electric vehicles are expected to reach cost-parity with fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025, there is not enough time for traditional market approaches to attain the exponential increase in adoption rates that is required. That opportunity came and went decades ago. The mainstream adoption of electric vehicles requires other synergistic actions by both the public and private sector in order to be successful.
Time is of the essence. Below is a listing of public sector actions needed to accelerate the rate of electric vehicle adoption in Canada. Accelerating the adoption rate for electric vehicles depends on simultaneous investments and implementation in three key areas: vehicle purchase incentives; electric vehicle infrastructure; and awareness / education. The absence of any component would significantly reduce the effectiveness of the others.
Vehicle Purchase Incentives
- Provide Federal financial incentives for the purchase of vehicles with minimum all-electric ranges of 50 km until cost-parity with fossil–fueled vehicles is reached.
- Exempt all imported used electric vehicles from import duties and excise taxes until 2025.
- Modify the National model building code to require outlets for the purpose of electric vehicle charging in parking stalls serving residential occupancies.
- Provide financial incentives for retrofitting residential buildings for electric vehicle chargers.
- Install DC fast chargers that would support inter-urban travel on the entire length of the Trans-Canada highway under Federal jurisdiction in coordination with the Provinces’ electric highway networks and additionally at many of Parks Canada parks, First Nation reserves, crown land and other opportunities in coordination with individual Provincial electric highway networks.
- Install electric vehicle infrastructure with 24/7 public access at other Federal buildings to facilitate charging by employees, visitors, and the public.
Awareness and Education
- Accelerate electric vehicle awareness and education by:
- Participation in public events showcasing electric vehicle technology for passenger cars, light and heavy duty trucks and buses and electric vehicles approved by Transport Canada for sale in Canada.
- Media outreach supporting successful applications of electric vehicle technology.
- Adopt zero emission policies for purchases and replacements in the Federal light duty vehicle fleet.
Please help make Canada a leader in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.