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Electric Car Report
February 10, 2011 - A new report is being released today by the Polaris Institute called, “Electric Car Report: What are the prospects for an electric car industry in Canada and is this a real or false solution for climate change.” The report contributes to the ongoing discussion about the greening of automobiles by highlighting how Canada could become a production centre for electric vehicles and raising important questions about the role of electric vehicles in mitigating climate change.
You can access the report here
For questions and inquiries please contact:
Richard Girard, 613 237-1717 ext 105 email@example.com
Excerpt from the introduction:
A buzz has developed around electric cars over the past two years based on the recent high profile release of the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf in the United States and the related marketing of these products. Most national newspapers in Canada and the United States have covered electric cars over the past 12 months in reports and editorials. Driven by strong corporate advertising campaigns, the image of the electric car as a solution to damaging tailpipe emissions is being perpetuated with some success.
All of the world’s large automotive manufacturers have picked up on the trend towards electric cars and have launched research and development programs aimed at producing these products. Many will be releasing commercially available plug in electric vehicles (PEV) 5 in the near future. Based on the optimism shown by the automotive industry it would seem that there is a nascent market for these vehicles in the United States, Japan and Western Europe. In the United States, at least, the confidence shown by the traditional auto manufacturers is driven in part by the Obama administration’s financial commitment to developing the industry, part of the President’s plan to help build the clean energy economy that he sees as key to the country’s competitiveness in the 21st century. Only time will tell if the buying public in the U.S. will flock to the local dealership to purchase a Volt or Leaf in 2011.
Meanwhile the Canadian government has yet to earmark significant funds to this industry leaving the country in a chicken and egg situation: without the government funds to foster an electric car industry and stimulate a market this mode of electrified transportation may not emerge in Canada. Canada is a major vehicle producing country and in the event that electric vehicles come into general use, this sector – a major employer of Canadian workers – could be adversely impacted if not properly prepared. The Canadian government continues to invest significantly in programs supporting the efficiency of internal combustion engines, but has not yet made specific investments in battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Further action by the Federal government to support this sector will be needed or Canada could be left behind other auto producing centres to the detriment of jobs in the automotive sector.
But should public money be used to stimulate a burgeoning electric car industry or would government funds be more successful in reducing emissions if they went to developing more accessible public transportation or to encourage people to simply walk more often or create more and safer bicycle lanes? This report will explore these questions and posits that a separate debate about the perceived benefits of the electric car needs to occur before any serious recommendations on government spending can be made.