The Future of Electric Vehicles in Canada: Adoption, Challenges, Job Opportunities, Etc.
Sometime in the future, you might buy a car, either one that runs on gasoline or diesel, or possibly an electric vehicle or a hybrid. If you choose to buy an electric vehicle, you will be part of an increasing trend in Canada. Electric vehicles are becoming more popular in this country, bringing both opportunities and challenges.
Electric vehicles have been around for many years, but they have only recently been gaining in popularity. In Alberta, for example, gasoline-powered vehicles have been dominant for years, partly because the province has a large supply of fossil fuels. Even there, the purchase of electric vehicles increased by 835 percent between 2017 and 2021, although most drivers still use gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles.
In Canada and elsewhere, people are very concerned about the climate and the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. Transportation is a major factor in producing harmful emissions that are contributing to climate change. The government has pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by twelve megatonnes by 2030. To accomplish this goal, many people will need to use electric vehicles, which are much cleaner to drive than ones using traditional fuels.
This goal presents many challenges, but also many opportunities. One of the challenges is dealing with charging stations. Vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel normally take only a few minutes to refill the fuel tank. Many vehicles can go in and out of gas stations in a short period of time. Electric vehicles, in contrast, can take several hours or even overnight to recharge. For long trips, drivers would need to find something to do while they are waiting for the vehicle to be ready for the road again.
Some shopping malls already have recharging stations for electric vehicles for people who expect to shop there for several hours. Many charging stations, however, have very little for people to do while they are waiting for their electric vehicles to recharge. If they had games for children, and tables and chairs for people to sit and eat while they wait, recharging batteries would be much more practical than it is now.
This challenge could be an opportunity for problem-solvers. If you enjoy thinking a problem through and looking for a solution, you could find a way to make the recharging process faster, or you could design charging stations to have activities that could keep people busy while they wait for their vehicles to be ready. You could supply good food for people to eat while they wait, or you could find other ways of dealing with the challenges of electric vehicles.
Another challenge is to find better sources of electricity. Although the electric vehicles themselves have no emissions, the process of producing electricity can generate greenhouse gases, either in manufacturing the batteries or building the recharging stations. Finding a cleaner way of producing electricity could make these vehicles an even better choice for people who care about the environment.
One of the advantages of gasoline-powered vehicles has been that they are generally reliable, even in cold weather, while other vehicles have not been as good in extreme weather. If you have mechanical and design skills, you could work on finding a way to make electric vehicles easier to use, even when the temperatures fall far below freezing.
As electric vehicles become more popular, people will need to work through some of the issues that accompany this technology. If you are interested, you can be one of the people working with this important technology.
Car and Driver. “Every Electric Vehicle That’s Expected in the Next Five Years.” https://www.caranddriver.com/news/g29994375/future-electric-cars-trucks/.
Cyr, Alex. “What Do EVs Mean for the Future of the Gas Station? Playgrounds and Better Food.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-what-do-evs-mean-for-the-future-of-the-gas-station-playgrounds-and/.
Howlett, Trevor. “A Wave of Electric Vehicles is Coming at Us. Are We Ready? https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/electric-vehicles-future-analysis-1.6298596.
PwC Canada. “Accelerating Canada’s Electric Vehicle Transition.” https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/industries/automotive/publications/accelerating-canadas-electric-vehicle-transition.html.