Latest Videos from CTV Saskatoon
Electric vehicle wave rising, but price and infrastructure still issues
Jason Cruickshank says that on a full charge, the range of his electric car is about 300 kilometers in the summer but drops to around 200 km during the winter.
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019 4:11PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, March 14, 2019 4:05PM CST
Jason Cruickshank has owned his electric car for 15 months and while driving around the city he has noticed fuel savings.
"This costs about $9 to fill up with electricity rates and our cost per kilometer is about a third of what it was with our previous car," Cruickshank said.
He decided to buy an electric car because he wanted to do more to reduce his carbon footprint. He commutes to work from Martensville to Saskatoon each day and has not had trouble starting his vehicle during winter.
However, he still owns a gas vehicle for when he hits the highway.
"It's a larger vehicle than this just for cargo and stuff. But also because the infrastructure isn't there right now to make the longer electric vehicle trips.”
On a full charge, the range of his car is about 300 kilometers in the summer but drops to around 200 km during the winter, he said. The range is further affected by using the heater or air conditioning, so going out of town on a road trip can present challenges
Aside from that, Cruickshank said his vehicle is great for commuting around the city.
So what needs to improve to get more people to purchase an electric vehicle? Jim Kerr with the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada said price and range are key factors.
"They are still a pricey vehicle compared to gasoline economy cars," he said, adding a lack of infrastructure combined with less range for some vehicles can also lead to issues.
"If you run out of battery your looking at a tow. You can't have somebody come with a gas can and fill it up.”
Cruickshank said it can take around 40 hours to fully charge his vehicle using a regular plug-in. Higher end chargers can reduce that time, but the future could be in the form of DC fast chargers, which Cruikshank said drastically reduce how long it takes to charge an electric vehicle.
"This style of charger can bring it from zero to 80 per cent in an hour or zero to 100 per cent in two hours."
Only one such charger is in Saskatchewan, according to CAA. The federal government is spending $900,000 for 14 more chargers in the province.
The provincial government said demand is not high enough to create subsidies for electric vehicles. One hundred electric vehicles are registered in the province, not including plug-in hybrids, according to SGI.
However the electric wave is growing. An electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-PACE, recently won a car of the year award for the first time, and Kerr said dealers are getting on board.
"There we're a couple of dealerships. I see there is a Jaguar I-PACE in town which is the electric vehicle and the Chevy Bolt is available in town as well."
Cruickshank said people are taking notice.
"This one, we bought it within about 48 hours, I think, of its arrival on the lot. And you’re seeing that a lot right now where they are just kind of selling them as soon as they arrive.”
A previous version of this story misstated the amount of time Jason Cruickshank has owned his electric car. CTV News regrets the error.