AutoJournal April 2017
The April 2017 issue of AutoJournal is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of AutoJournal, Jack Kazmierski.
Do You Speak EV?
I recently had the pleasure of piloting an electric vehicle for a week. What an eye-opener!
The men and women who drive EVs on a daily basis live in a world that those of us who depend on gasoline and diesel simply can’t understand. Their travels are not simply about getting from point A to point B. No… they’re much more complicated than that.
You see, any extended trip, beyond a simple daily commute, has to be planned out with the precision of a military operation. Before embarking on a longer than usual voyage, EV drivers have to think about where they’re going, how far they’ll have to travel, and where they will find charging stations along the way.
EVs for the masses
As practical as EVs may be when used within urban centres where charging stations are readily available, or on pre-planned routes, such as a daily commute with charging access at home and at work, we’ve got a long way to go before we see EVs as a solution for the masses.
Part of the challenge is education. My week with the EV proved to me that most people find these clean vehicles completely foreign. Take, for example, something as simple as the charging process. How long does it take? Where can an EV be charged? How much does it cost to “fill up the tank,” so to speak? Suddenly, what seemed simple isn’t.
Most people wouldn’t know where to begin answering these questions. As I found out during my extended test drive, most of us don’t even understand the difference between a Level 1, 2 or 3 charger.
After speaking with friends, family, colleagues and curious passersby, I’ve come to the conclusion that most Canadians simply don’t “speak EV.” In other words, we see EVs on our roads, and we know they don’t run on traditional fuels, but that’s about it. We’re not fluent, so to speak, when it comes to the technology.
And who can blame the average Canadian? Why learn about a new technology when you’re still using a traditional internal combustion engine? Until you own an EV (or until you’re researching one because you’re thinking of getting one), why immerse yourself in all the details?
And perhaps that’s the fundamental question we need to answer if we really want to see more EVs on Canadian roads. We need to better understand the technology and what the ownership experience is like. It’s the first step to more Canadians embracing, or even considering, an EV of their own.