EV Conference and Tradeshow 2017: From Carbon to Clean

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Electric technology solutions have the potential to transform the way we move around  Ontario’s roadways and help create a low carbon future. This year’s annual EV conference and tradeshow held at the Markham Hilton May 29th to June 1, brought together key players from government and the auto industry to showcase the latest in EV technology.

The province’s blueprint to reduce greenhouse gas pollution is contained in Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan. This plan was released last year, and along the carbon market, it forms the backbone of Ontario’s strategy to cut Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below 1990 levels by 2020, and by 37% below 1990 levels by 2030, and by 80%  of 1990 levels by 2050.

“We have already made good headway in meeting those goals,” explained Paul Evans, Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change during the opening plenary session. “In 2014 Ontario closed the last of its coal-fired power plants and this was one of the largest greenhouse gas reductions in North America.”

“We are now two-thirds of the way to meeting our 2020 target. The climate change action plan and the carbon market, really work together to bring us the rest of the way to meeting our GH reduction targets and electric vehicles are an increasingly integral element of Ontario’s response to climate change.”

“Today, every automaker is working on one or more electric vehicles,” added Jeff Lyash, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Power Generation. A recent KPMG survey of auto sector executives found that 90 per cent of these executives expect battery electric vehicles to dominate the market by 2025, and 93 per cent plan to heavily invest in EVs over the next five years.

“We have almost 33,00 electric vehicles on Canadian roads, and the rate of adoption is increasing rapidly,” added Catherine Kargas, VP Marcon, and  Chair of Electric Mobility Canada. “It’s increasing with improved battery performance which means we will no longer be talking about range anxiety; we will be talking about range confidence. With more charging infrastructure across the country, and a growing number of EV models and options coming available to consumers, the number of EVs on the road will increase rapidly.”

About one-third of Ontario’s gas pollution is caused by the transportation sector, more than any other sector.  Some 11 million passenger and commercial vehicles regularly travel along our roads, and cars and trucks are responsible for about 70 per cent of these trips.

“While Battery EVs make up a fraction of cars on the road today,  the pace of change is remarkable, continued Kargas. “There are many options coming to showrooms over the next few years, but we are not complacent. More work needs to be done.  We continue to encourage governments to provide incentives to ensure EVs are competitively priced with their internal combustion engine counterparts. It won’t take long to reach price parity, but until then, incentives are going to be required.”

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