Electrifying cars makes sense … just ask the people of Québec, Canada

 

The province of Québec, Canada, has close to 5 million cars for the 8 million inhabitants living in its vast territory. The road transportation sector accounts for 34.5% of its carbon emissions (2017 data), with virtually all of the fossil fuels used to power it being imported. Vehicles also contribute to reduced air quality, particularly in urban areas. The City of Montreal estimates that 45% of particulate matter in its air–a major pollutant–is due to transportation.

Electricity can get the job done

In the past few years, however, there has been a shift in consumers’ habits and more and more people are opting for electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The number of these types of vehicles on the road more than tripled from 2017 to 2019, increasing from just over 19,000 to almost 63,000.

The government of Québec has put into place an ambitious Action Plan which targets having 100,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by the end of 2020, with a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 150,000 tons. As an incentive to citizens, it provides subsidies for the purchase of a new vehicle and the installation of a charging station at home or at work.

GSEP member Hydro-Québec has been working hard to facilitate this transition through the deployment of the Electric Circuit, the largest public car-charging network in Canada. As of May 31, 2020 it operated 2546 charging stations (including 311 fast-charge stations) in Québec and Eastern Ontario. With such a vast network available, drivers can easily make the switch to electric vehicles without worrying about their battery running empty. And since 99.8% of electricity in Québec is from low-carbon sources, converting transportation to electricity makes perfect sense!

 

Sources:

Location: Québec, Canada

Location: Québec, Canada

GSEP members: Hydro-Québec,

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