Canada is setting new standards for electric vehicle availability and it’s going to require more EVs. But are these vehicles up to the challenge of Winnipeg’s cold winters?
James Hart is one Winnipegger who went the electric route. He said he wanted something fast and quiet when he got a new vehicle.
“That happened to be electric and that’s why I went electric,” said Hart, who is the president of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association.
He said he hasn’t experienced too many problems with his vehicle or its battery, but does note one issue.
“So (the battery) does consume about 50 per cent more in this cold.”
Consuming more battery power means more charging, and that’s not always easy.
“Having that charger at home makes a big difference,” said Adam Kozachuk, who also owns an electric vehicle.
He said he keeps his vehicle in an attached, insulated garage and for him, it’s a big reason why the electric vehicle experience has been pain free.
“It never really gets colder than minus five in the garage. And I think that a lot of people who live in condos or apartment buildings could struggle a little more in getting access to chargers.”
In the future, more access will likely be needed as the targets under the new national standards require 20 per cent of new car sales be zero-emission vehicles by 2026, 60 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035.
“Most of the chargers are located Highway 1 and south. So we definitely need more to head up to Thompson,” said Hart.
At the moment, it’s unclear what impact more EVs would have on the energy grid.
A spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro told CTV News Winnipeg its initial analysis found capital improvements might be required.
For now, CAA has recommendations for EV drivers to improve their range. They include more conservative driving behaviours, such as avoiding rapid acceleration and hard braking, and keeping the EV plugged in when not in use for long periods of time.
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