In a decade or so we won’t call them "electric cars", we’ll just call them "cars". The modifier will drop away, just as dropping the "horseless" part of "horseless carriages" left only "carriages", which we shortened to "cars".

The rationale for electric vehicles is so compelling it hardly needs explanation. They actually cost less, in terms of total cost of ownership, as I pointed out in my write-up on EV ownership and as Forbes confirms (University of Michigan study, via EVannex.com). They are much easier on the driver. The particulate pollution at source of an EV is zero, the greenhouse gas emission at source is zero, and the noisy, smelly gasoline engine and its fuel infrastructure is rendered unnecessary. Gasoline engines and especially diesel in contrast emit large amounts of particulate pollution ("soot") which sickens and kills people. Gasoline cars catch fire and burn a hundred times a day in the US, often with fatal results. Both suicides and accidental deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning are another toxic effect. In fact, the internal combustion engine is already dead, just hasn’t realized it yet. Don’t take my word for it; see here and in the Economist. Or, if you follow entrepreneurs, here’s Sir Richard Branson, founder of various Virgin Enterprises, on Why we should switch by 2025 not 2040. If you want to see my word on it, check out my Note to My Friends and Neighbors in the Oil Patch.

Overall pollution and GHG is less when EVs are used, even where dirty fuel is used, as has been articulated many times, by the Union of Concerned Scientists and by the International Council on Clean Transportation. Indeed, given the massive amount of fuel used by refineries and pumping stations and gas stations with their garish all-night lighting, some have estimated that it takes more electricity (in addition to the gasoline burning!) to drive a gasoline-powered car 100 miles than it takes to drive an electric car the same distance! EVs are thus significantly more efficient than the ICE vehicles they are starting to replace. When you hear otherwise, it’s probably funded by the fossil fuel industry, stock market short sellers, or somebody with an axe to grind. See CNBC.

Even staid old-line makers like Jaguar and Porsche have committed to electrification. Porsche offers this discussion on the all-electric powertrain to be used in their near-future EVs, and what electrification means to the automotive world. Porsche exhibited a prototype TayCan (nee Mission-E) at the Toronto Auto Show CIAS 2018. Volkswagen announced a new modular chassis plan (MEB) due to power several models of EV.

image

Porsche Taycan (Mission-E) at CIAS2018

However we are creatures of habit, and habits suggest buying a regular gas guzzler or "ICE" (Infernal Combustion Engine) car. So think about the following:

  • Particulate emission - millions die every year from inhaling soot particles and, in countries where we don’t routinely cook or heat with wood or animal dung, the motor car is one of the prime contributors to this.

  • Oil dependency - while North America has cut back on fuel imports in recent years, it has done so by controversial means such as "fracking" (fracturing rocks, which is believed to cause earthquakes as well as polluting ground water sources) and the Alberta tar sands.

  • Prior to that, and still so for parts of the world, oil must be bought from places that have it, which props up dicatorial, rights-violating regimes in those parts of the world.

  • Oil transport - Lac Magantic. Nuff said. 43 humans, and most of a town, incinerated. Hundreds of tons of oil burned inefficiently.

  • Climate Change - even if you don’t accept the scientific evidence for human activity causing climate change, which you should, the other reasons are compelling.

Electric Vehicles are here to stay

Yup. And they’ve been around a lot longer than you think. See this History of the Electric Car.

As of October, 2017, every significant car manufacturer has committed to moving to EVs including the US Big 3 (GM, Ford, and FCA), Jaguar (to invest US$18B over 3 years), Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen, and almost all German and Asian car makers. Some of these, like Porsche have said they will be 100% electric by 2030 or so. Daimler’s SmartCar lineup is already all-electric in North America and will be 100% electric in Europe by 2020.

An early adopter reports that the pioneering days are over for EVs - in his view, EVs are now a thing. Yup.

The Wall Stree Journal notes that electric cars will be here sooner than you think (sign-in required).

Lake Simcoe Living ran an article Charged about the future: From trucks to boats, school buses and RVs - embrace the change by Ron Groves of Plug-n-Drive (weird Adobe Flash formatting, alas).

USA Today has an article on road-tripping with EVs.

This will have impacts beyond the obvious.

Here’s my "top 10" list of ways electric cars will "shock" your world.

I have a presentation on Why you should ride electric that will be of interest to schools, clubs and associations, etc. At about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes this covers some background, some of the controversies, myths and realities, and the advantages of electric vehicles. If you are interested in having me present it, please contact me by email (my first name at this website’s domain), or using this contact form.

EV Cars

Tesla-specific

Tesla vs the Evil Short Sellers

There is an emerging view that the main short sellers against Tesla are not in it for society’s good, but out to destroy an innovative company for their own huge short-term profit. Read about it:

Tesla Model 3

image

Tesla Model 3

The Model 3, an "affordable Tesla" "for some of the rest of us", was announced/unveiled March 31, 2016. Before the reveal, Canada’s Globe and Mail called the event the beginning of the beginning for the Tesla Model 3. Within a few weeks, over a quarter million people had put down a US$1K deposit to hold a place in the ordering queue, a queue which ultimately reached half a million reservations.

Deliveries of the Model 3 with the "optional" long-range battery started in mid 2017 to employees, to US-based previous Tesla owners later in 2017, and to non-employees in February, 2018. Canadian deliveries began in May of 2018. The all-wheel drive option was released in June, 2018. Deliveries of the base model (standard battery, US$35,000, Can$46,500) are anticipated to start later in 2018 in both countries. Those further afield may have to wait until 2019. Disclosure: I purchased one in the summer of 2018. And I love it! Read these reviews to see why everybody loves this car. Wired Magazine called it "a landmark in automotive history." The traditional Motor Trend Magazine called it "the most important car of the century". The rest of us just call it: "bring it on!".

Low-cost, Mostly-Three-Wheeled EVs reduce weight, complexity

The A-Z of EV Motorcycles

There are literally dozens of companies making electric scooters, e-bikes, and of course mobility riders for seniors; far too many to list here. Find a local dealer.

Snowmobiles

Trucks: Pickups

Trucks: Semis and Delivery

e-Bus/Subway/Streetcar/LRT manufacturers

Industrial/Commercial

Aviation

Marine

Electric Lawn/Garden Work

Electric Forest Care

  • Electric Chain Saws by

Ban the ICE for personal transport!

No, I did not come up with this idea, though it’s probably a good idea, in the name of governments protecting us from the aggression of pollution. Several countries and jurisdictions have had the idea. Most of these are not yet passed into law. But some of them will.

I maintained a list here for a while, but now there are so many countries banning ICE cars that my list was perenially out of date, so I happily defer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_banning_fossil_fuel_vehicles Wikipedia’s[List of Countries (and Cities) Banning Fossil Fuel Vehicles]

EV Information and News Sites

image image

Plug-n-Drive Discovery Centre (left); booth at CIAS2018 (right)

Advocacy

While this whole web page could be construed as EV Advocacy, here are some things I’ve written and published or made available;