An electric car
is an automobile that uses an electric motor as a driving force to move the
car, as oppose to traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) that use fossil
fuels. Electric cars are
usually powered by on-board battery packs such as lithium ion batteries, instead of a fuel tank.
Canada's Electric Vehicle Technology Road Map (link: http://www.evtrm.gc.ca/index_e.html),
prepared for the Federal government, calls for support to have 500,000 electric
vehicles (including hybrids) on Canadian roads by 2018.
Electrification Roadmap in the United States has a vision of 75 per cent of road miles travelled in electric
vehicles by 2040.
technology side, hybrid powertrains are rapidly
evolving into either purely electric vehicles, or hybrids where the ICE is much
smaller and only charges the batteries. Fuel for electric vehicles will soon be
obtained from the owner's home electrical supply instead of gasoline filling
stations. Energy cost will be substantially lower. Exhaust emissions will be
negligible or non-existent.
vehicles are simpler than ICE-powered vehicles, and should cost less to
maintain. There is no cooling system, exhaust system, or gearbox. The brakes
and steering are electrically controlled instead of using hydraulics. The body
can be designed differently because of the absence of so much equipment. But
electric vehicles are not without challenges.
The biggest of
these is having enough energy to travel a reasonable distance between
'refills.' Nickel metal-hydride batteries used in hybrids today are lighter and
store more energy than lead-acid batteries, but only enough for 60 to 100 kilometers of driving at a time. Lithium-ion batteries are
lighter and pack even more energy.
appears to be a result of ensuring a supply of the batteries. Lithium itself is
not an expensive commodity as it is a fairly common element. Although Bolivia
is currently the largest source of lithium, Canada
itself has a large deposit near Val-Cartier, Quebec. Lithium refining is another potential bottleneck as it takes time
to set up a processing plant.
All of the
established lithium-ion battery makers are currently based in Japan, South Korea and China, including the manufacturer of batteries for the Volt. In North America, there is only
one plant manufacturing lithium-ion batteries, EnerDel
Inc., although there are four or five companies either established or starting
have integrated electric vehicles into their product offerings include GM,
Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Ford. In 2011, the
Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf will be available for sale to the general
In Canada, there is no nationally available incentive,
Manitoba, , Quebec and Prince Edward Island all offer tax rebates or credits ranging from
$1,000 to $3,000 on the purchase of a hybrid vehicle. In addition, Ontario plans to offer an incentive ranging from $3,000
to $8,500 for plug-in electric vehicles as they become available.
Electric Vehicle Technology Road Map - http://www.evtrm.gc.ca/index_e.html
Mobility Canada - http://www.emc-mec.ca
City of Hamilton, Green
Fleet Implementation Plan, Phase 2 2009-2011 -
Plug n Drive
CAA EV Charger
Station Locator Map -
Vehicle Explorer Tool -