Electric Times

On CBC.ca/sask recently.

You can just feel the electricity at City Hall. Actually, you can’t. Neither can an electric car, because the City’s recommending that it save $26,000, hedging that the future will not consist mostly of electric vehicles. Other cities and towns differ, and instead are taking up the offer of free car chargers from Sun Country Highway.

The EV chargers report did not make a good conclusion based on the facts presented in the same report. As the world adapts to support EVs, Regina community facilities without chargers will stick out like a sore thumb. Instead of saving $26000 on installs now, the City will in a few years pay the cost of the installs, plus the cost of the chargers and signage.

It’s frankly a miracle there are 5 EVs in the city already, given the total lack of government support for them at every governance level. Instead of planning for the future, the report signals City Hall’s effort to preserve the past even after past practice has proven to be unsustainable.

The City’s acting director of planning said, “We’re just questioning whether or not there’s enough market demand.” Well, the five cars in Regina aren’t the only vehicles to consider. There are all of the tourists who won’t stop at our libraries and community rec centres. There’s everyone waiting to buy an EV once the government signals they’ll be supported. There’s a private company offering thousands of dollars of free equipment and signage to help the City reduce its carbon footprint. It’s pretty clear there’s enough market demand, and even if there wasn’t, that means the report’s estimate for how much the City would pay in electricity costs is not reasonable. The private company and market can’t just buy a parking spot at City Hall, they need the support of Council.

Here, the market is trying to solve the old problem, what comes first, the chicken or the egg. And if the City rejects free eggs, there will never be many chickens here.

For additional consideration, the 3 locations chosen in the report don’t have to be the last word. SaskPower had been planning to install EV chargers during their now cancelled headquarter upgrades. Partner with SaskPower and put a charger into their parking lot behind their tower on Victoria Ave., free for public EV use when SaskPower isn’t making use of it. Get SaskPower to pay for the electricity for that charger! Or have them install a second charger beside the Sun Country Highway charger and save on install-costs.

If meter revenue is so coveted, install the charger where there isn’t a meter – I didn’t see this idea suggested as an alternative.

If coal electricity is a concern, realize that solar power can be added soon after and the electricity provided will be as green as possible, something gasoline vehicles can’t easily be converted to make use of.

If the expense is the concern, save $26,000 to $1.3Mil each year, by not giving away so much free parking to City employees and fellow Councillors.

At $25,000 / new EV, when 21 are purchased because Regina offered support, the province will recoup all $26,000 invested, as PST.
21 vehicles represents 1.2% of all new cars sold in a year by 1 Regina dealership.

ADDED:
“Saskatchewan car dealers are expected to sell 54,000 new passenger cars and trucks in 2015, down slightly from 56,000 new motor vehicles in 2014, according to Scotiabank’s global auto report released Tuesday.”

Clearly, selling 21 EVs out of 54000 vehicles sold across the province, is not a challenge if even one dealership puts their mind toward the task.

UPDATE:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/regina-council-to-decide-on-electric-charging-stations-1.3262208?cmp=rss

UPDATE 2016:

Canadian firm plans new sales model for EVs

“In the first half of 2016, 4,288 electric cars were sold in Canada, a 54 per cent jump over sales in the first half of 2015, according to FleetCarma, “

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About John Klein

My full time blog is at AbandonedStuff.com My personal site devoted to my Regina politics work is at JohnKlein.ca