Electric car mandate madness


Five years ago, I took the plunge and became a minivan owner. I will never forget what I learned from my shopping experience about electric vehicles (EVs).

I bought a minivan because it was what my growing family needed at the time. I originally wanted to get an SUV that was cooler than a van, but the storage space and seating arrangement just didn’t suit our requirements.

Our shopping experience was probably the same as many Canadian families: we visited many dealers and test drove different makes and models until we finally settled on our choice.

What I remember most about this experience is that nothing in particular happened, but one big thing happened. No one mentioned hybrids or EVs. not even once.

The option simply didn’t come to mind. It didn’t come to mind during the weeks-long buying process, but no one at any of the dealers brought it up.

I first realized this when I appeared on a talk radio show to discuss yet another government initiative aimed at reducing emissions and increasing the use of EVs. I was in the middle of making a purchase and was talking about these things on the radio, but I never connected the two experiences.

Government initiatives seemed little more than idealism, bureaucratic thought experiments, while my family’s purchases were pragmatic—there was little overlap between the two worlds.

To be fair, one of the big reasons the option didn’t come up was that there weren’t really (and still very few) EV options available for big cars at the time. So there was nothing for sales people to sell.

But I think my story points to a recent descent into policy insanity made by the liberal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding Canada’s EV sales mandate.

Last week, liberals confirmed a long-standing plan to require all major passenger cars sold in Canada to be electric by 2035. The first requirement is for 20% of sales to be EVs by model year 2026, and then escalate.

The idea of ​​government dictating sales to manufacturers is enough to make central planning communists blush. Producers wish they could control when and how consumers spend their money. But it’s not. Neither does the government.

In the 2022 budget, the Liberals amusingly touted the plan as “making ZEVs more affordable.” [zero-emission vehicle] Through a new mandatory sales target so that when people buy a ZEV, there is a lot selling option. ”

The internal logic of this sentence implodes on its own. Restricting consumer choice doesn’t make things easier for consumers.

Looking back on my experience with minivans, if the market had produced hybrid or EV vans at prices comparable to conventional cars, I would have wanted to buy one.

Without a doubt, this transition is happening. Economics is becoming more and more relevant to people. But rather than simply allowing or supporting this transition, governments believe they can yell and shout at industries and consumers to make it happen according to their own random timelines.

What’s interesting about the liberal madness mandate is that it’s happening at about the same time that people are asking more critical questions about the feasibility of such a transition.

First, there are fundamental concerns about how EVs can be used in rural Canada, where charging stations are less prevalent. But more complex issues have also emerged. One is the incredible environmental impact of mining the materials needed to produce these vehicles. EVs may not always be as clean and green as we’re led to believe, as reports show that reusable bags are in some ways worse for the environment than single-use plastic bags. not.

There are also concerns that the current grid will not actually be able to have so many EVs running in the time Prime Minister Trudeau is advocating. For example, the California government recently instructed EV owners not to charge between 5pm and 10pm to avoid power outages.

The industry is aware of these hurdles and is already working hard to resolve them. Innovation deserves attention. But what Trudeau and other politicians are doing with rigid timelines and ideological agendas is not innovation. Advances in EV files over the next few years will be made regardless of government mandates. Not by government mandate.

If all the numbers make sense, I’m sure I’ll buy an electric car for my family one day. But it wasn’t my last car purchase, and probably won’t be my next.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.

Anthony Fury

Anthony Furey is Vice President of Editorial and Content at the True North Centre.