Electric Vehicle Considerations for Canada

Contributed by Kent Zehr © 2019

Subsidies for buyers of electric cars should cease immediately.

Increased power generation and distribution costs from electrical vehicles, under the 2040 goal, put Canada at risk.

Executive Summary of Power Point

Link to full power point and analysis: ELECTRIC VEHICLE CONSIDERATIONS (4)

  • The Canadian government under Justin Trudeau has stated by 2040 all vehicles sold in Canada will be zero emission vehicles generally meaning rechargeable electric vehicles.
  • While projecting the usage and mileage of such vehicles is difficult and subject to interpretation and speculation, the amount of energy being expended by that sector of the economy today is measured and reported.
  • Using the actual measured amount of energy expended in this area today allows some determination of what conditions must exist for all vehicles in Canada to be electric in 2040.
  • At perfect efficiency, impossible, more than 10,000 megawatts of additional electrical generation capacity are required for Canada to be 100% electric passenger cars by 2040.
  • At the present time, there are two large power projects being built in Canada, Site C in BC and Muskrat Falls in NL. Combined, they have a capacity of 1,924 megawatts, if they meet their design capacity.
  • Example of lead time and cost escalation: Site C dam in BC was first considered in hearings in 1980-81, and turned down. After the Clean Energy Act of 2010 it began to move forward; in 2012 it was mandated under CEAA; 2014 received environmental approval from federal and provincial authorities. Site clearing began in 2016 – since then it has been stalled and started several times with court action from various environmental groups or First Nations. The original cost was estimated at $6.6 billion; estimates now predict $11 to $12 billion. This cost does not include transmission lines to hubs. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • The existing projects have taken or will take more than five (5) years to reach production.
  • There are no other large power generation projects even being contemplated in Canada currently. To meet the 2040 stated objective at least eight (8) more projects, of about the sizes being built, are required.
  • In addition to the power generation, large amounts of additional electrical infrastructure will be needed to deliver the newly generated power to locations where it will be needed. None is planned now. (Costs are in the hundreds of billions or trillions – the 500 kV transmission line from Calgary to Pincher Creek wind farms cost $2.2 billion dollars. Additional upgrades would be required for most distribution lines (within neighbourhoods) and transformers and the IT infrastructure at the electric system operation, which may be in the 9 figures.)
  • Given how electrical vehicles will be used, most for commuting and shopping, recharging will be a nighttime load on the power system. Weather may require day-time charging adding to base load demands. This eliminates solar and wind power from contention as new supply.
  • Other technologies, fission and fusion, may be deployable in time to meet the projected demand. However, both of these technologies have long, long lead times and will be challenged to meet demand in even fifteen years.
  • The subsidies for buyers of electric cars should cease immediately.
  • A national consensus needs to be developed supporting increased power generation and distribution ahead of the demand coming on from electrical vehicles.



  1. 45clive

    A new 170 + wind farm is planned for Lomond, Alberta. It will encroach within a kilometer of my home. Not good, especially since my wife and I are electro-hypersensitive due to being “early adapters” to digital technology and living in the electro-smog of the lower mainland of BC.

    We ran away to rural Alberta to get away from all that. Electric cars? Not suitable for rural Alberta or rural anywhere else, where a one or two hundred round trip for groceries or to see a doctor isn’t unusual.

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