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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Are EVs really the future?

To the Editor: It is the Canadian government’s wish that by 2035 most of us will be driving electric vehicles (EVs).
electric vehicle

It is the Canadian government’s wish that by 2035 most of us will be driving electric vehicles (EVs). Currently, we are all driving internal combustion engines (ICE) which rely on automotive technology developed over a period of more than 100 years.

Our ICE vehicles have the lowest emissions they’ve had in decades.

Let’s look at the reality of current EVs. They have an average range of travel of about 300 km, under ideal conditions. Hot weather, or the cold North American winter, can easily reduce this range by 50 per cent. They’re powered by massive lithium ion batteries which rely on a network of charging stations hooked to the power grid.

Recently the Trudeau government and Ontario Premier Doug Ford committed $1.5 billion in taxpayer money to build a huge lithium ion battery factory partnered with Honda. It requires mining a couple of tons of lithium ore to produce one lithium ion car battery. These mines are an environmental nightmare. EVs are expensive, costing 25 per cent more than an ICE vehicle. These batteries have a life span of about 10 years, at which time the car is a financial write-off.

EVs are up to 50 per cent heavier than ICE cars, resulting in premature road wear. They also chew through a set of tires every 10,000 to 20,000 km, resulting in twice as much particulate rubber polluting the environment in the form of micro-particles.

Lithium ion batteries are also prone to spontaneous combustion resulting in catastrophic results in the form of extremely sudden and hot fires which are almost impossible to put out. A number of Tesla car drivers have literally died in their cars when they couldn’t pull over and escape fast enough.

These are just some of the issues faces EV technology, which to date has not been proven to be reliable. I could go on. Another technology being currently developed are ultra-clean-burning fuels developed for jet airplanes. You will never see an electric passenger plane. Our ICE vehicles would do very well on such fuels.

I think the whole EV industry needs to be put under the microscope of common sense before we are all expected to jump on the bandwagon.

Peter Vanwerden, M.Arch., Westlock