Two years ago, in his introduction to the made-in-Manitoba climate and green plan, Brian Pallister touted our record as "a clean, green province." Then he informed us, "It’s time to do even more... Climate change is real and it’s already impacting us. It is being accelerated by carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from humans. Scientists all over the world agree climate change is happening and it poses a growing threat to how we live and work."
The 2018 report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we have less than 12 years left to avoid "irreparable damage to our planet."
Internal combustion engines in vehicles emit 39 per cent of Manitoba’s greenhouse gases. For years, members of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association have been driving battery-electric vehicles, proving that, in the true north, electric motors are superb replacements for internal combustion engines.
The Norwegian government has been resoundingly successful at initiating a rapid switch to fully electric vehicles. As of June 2019, 48.4 per cent of all new vehicles sold in Norway were battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Norway has demonstrated that enabling more drivers to switch to BEVs is the most cost-effective way to achieve the greatest reduction of GHG emissions in the shortest period of time.
In addition to dramatically reducing GHGs and keeping Manitoba competitive with the rest of the world, investments in the switch to battery-electric vehicles would pay for themselves by boosting this province’s economy. No gasoline or diesel fuels are refined here. Collectively, Manitoba drivers pay more than a billion dollars every year to buy those fuels from sources outside this province. Battery-electric vehicle drivers pay to recharge their vehicles entirely with made-in-Manitoba electricity.
Therefore, the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association is urging the Manitoba government to do as other provinces have done, partner with the EV community, the private sector and other levels of government to expedite the electrification of transportation.
It’s been two years since Pallister bluntly warned, "It’s time to do even more." Now, it’s time to catch up!
Robert Elms, president Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association Winnipeg
Comment: I read Robert Elms' letter differently than some of the online posters. He writes absolutely nothing about the carbon tax, yet one poster brings that into his comments which rely on the tired argument that our contribution is so small it doesn't matter. I have only one vote but, using the too-small-to matter argument, should I not vote tomorrow?
In EVs, I see an opportunity to start using up some of Hydro's surplus that is already causing a problem for the utility in the vanishing export market. Start dealing with that problem now and the day will come sooner when Hydro can stop selling its electricity in the money-losing export market and we can look forward to lower electricity rate increases again.
And let's keep those clean kilowatt hours at home where they can help Manitobans do their share in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have an advantage in this effort over other jurisdictions whose EVs are powered by coal-fired kilowatt hours.
We blew it in overbuilding Hydro. Let's not blow it again.