The road to 600,000 electric vehicles

A year ago, we launched a revolution at WWF … or rather a rEVolution. With transportation accounting for nearly a third of GHG emissions in Canada, switching from conventional gas-guzzlers to electric-powered alternatives would make a BIG difference in curbing climate change. That’s why we launched a nation-wide campaign to see 600,000 electric vehicles on Canadian roads by 2020.

iStock Photo
iStock Photo

Of course, as any seasoned road-tripper knows, a destination doesn’t do you much good without the maps (or should I say GPS?) to get you there.  So we’ve mapped out a plan to reach our target. Think of us as a trusty navigator—riding shotgun with a Timmy’s in one hand, directions in the other, and keeping an eye out for the next turn ahead.

There’s no question that EVs are a practical option for plenty of Canadians. While most of us travel just 60 km a day, typical EVs can go at least 100 km on a single charge. And on top of helping the planet, electric vehicles also come with the tantalizing prospect of slashing fuel costs by 80 per cent and cutting maintenance bills in half.

Many Canadians are already reaping the benefits of going electric. But if we want this revolution to really take off, a few things have to happen. First of all, there’s pricing and availability: we need a wide variety of affordable electric makes and models. We need more charging stations, so drivers know they can top up their battery when they’re out and about. We need leadership from utility companies and governments at all levels. Finally, we need more opportunities for Canadians to get familiar with electric vehicles and their benefits.

© Martin Pickard/Flickr/Getty Images
© Martin Pickard/Flickr/Getty Images

So … 600,000 electric vehicles by 2020. Ambitious? Sure. Fraught with challenges? No doubt. Doable? Oh yeah.

Just look at places like Norway, a global leader in EV adoption. Thanks to forward-thinking pricing policies and other incentives, this Nordic nation saw one EV sale for every 16 conventional car sales —proving that going electric isn’t just possible, it’s happening!

We believe Canada has the potential to do the same.

So a year into our Transportation rEVolution, how are we doing? Watch for our status report in the coming weeks, where we’ll show you exactly how Canada is faring on the road to sustainable transportation.

For more information, check out our handy FAQ on electric vehicles