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LETTER: No overlooking the benefits of electric vehicles

A letter writer rejects the environmental benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) over internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). I can support her final comment that, for many reasons, we would be better off with fewer private vehicles and a lot more public transportation. But to suggest that EVs are “as bad or worse” than ICEVs does not square with the facts.

Many research organizations have used “life cycle analysis” to compare the environmental impact of EVs vs. ICEVs through all stages of materials sourcing, vehicle manufacture, vehicle operation and after-life management.

According to a 2022 study by the independent Fuels Institute, over an average vehicle lifetime, the EV has 41 per cent less carbon emissions. And in fact, the EV comes out way ahead if it is getting electricity from a “clean grid” as in B.C. Having said that, the emissions associated with materials sourcing/manufacture of EVs is about two times higher and so we need more effort there, notably by ensuring that EV batteries are fully recycled. There are some innovative Canadian companies doing just that.

And on the cost issue, EVs are also the winner. Based on “total cost of ownership” over 10 years, and ignoring any subsidies, EVs come out well ahead. The cost advantage will only grow as the purchase price of EVs declines over time and gasoline prices keep climbing.

Rory McAlpine

Oak Bay

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