Why Go Electric?
Better for You
EVs are a much more convenient option compared to typical ICE vehicles.
Imagine if a magical fairy visited your garage every night, and refueled your vehicles (for cheap!) while you slept so that each morning you had a full tank of gas. Sounds magical, doesn’t it? With an EV, that magic meets reality. For just a fraction the cost of gas, your EV will charge itself up overnight, freeing you from the ‘weekly’ routine of detouring out of your way to a gas station.
EVs have some more tricks up their (non-existent) tailpipes – when you slow down, they turn the energy of motion into stored electrical energy that will help you travel farther. This is in stark contrast to how regular cars reduce speed – they waste that energy, turning it into lost heat. The added advantage is that brakes on EVs last much longer. Reducing maintenance costs. Those savings are amplified by the lack of oil changes and the extra reliability that comes along with simple electric motors.
Without a tailpipe, EVs don’t emit harmful emissions into the air we all breathe. This has the immediate benefit of being healthier for the EV driver, as well as the other residents of our cities.
Shh… can you hear it? The lack of noise as EVs drive down the roadway. Reduced noise pollution is another shared benefit we all enjoy with electric vehicles.
Better for The Environment
What is ‘easy’ today, may not lead to a desirable ‘tomorrow’. While fossil fuels are essential to our way of life, allowing us to produce all sorts of essential items, why burn them away when there are alternatives?
The burning of fossil fuels produces hazardous chemicals and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These pollutants contribute to air pollution and climate change. The only greenhouse gas emissions associated with an EV are from the generation of electricity. While it is true some of Alberta’s electricity comes from coal, Alberta is quickly transitioning its electrical grid away towards a greener mix. Consider this: every day a gasoline car is driven, it gets slightly less efficient and in turn, pollutes a little more. EVs, on the other hand, get better for the environment as the supporting grid improves.
EV batteries are made from Lithium-ion, which is the same battery used in smartphones, laptops and most rechargeable household electronics. Lithium-ion batteries are 90% recyclable and a number of companies are looking at using used EV batteries as second-life energy storage units.
When you compare the total life-cycle of an EV to a gas car, from manufacturing, through operation, to end of life, EVs produce about half the greenhouse gas emissions as a comparable gas car. For more information on the EV life-cycle, visit the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Real-Time BEV GHG Emission Estimating Tool for Alberta
Real-Time Alberta Power Generation Source Mix
Annual cost: $269
Annual cost: $1248
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The pie chart above is a real-time graphical representation of Alberta’s power generation sources. The data is sourced from the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). Because Alberta has many sources of power it is difficult to determine how much GHGs are emitted per kWh of electrical energy created. This built in calculator and drop down menu system is an easy tool for estimating the GHG emissions from an electric vehicle on Alberta’s grid and also allows you to make quick comparisons to many Internal Combustion Engine vehicles.
Alberta AESO Current Supply Demand Report:
Other background sources:
-Fuel consumption values are sourced from Natural Resources Canada
-1 litre of gasoline emits 2.44kg CO2e
-1 kWh produced by 100% Coal emits 0.909kg of CO2
-1kWh produced by 100% Natural Gas emits 0.465kg of CO2
-1kWh produced by 100% Renewables emits 0.000kg of CO2
-1kWh produced by 100% Biomass emits 1.5kg of CO2
Some notes about the calculator:
-The tool currently only works for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and does not work for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)
-Our thanks to Dr Hesam Yazdanpanahi for the inspiration to make this tool
-Prior to 2014 Alberta’s electricity sector accounted for 16% of the provinces GHG emissions. In 2016 the Government of Alberta announced the Climate Leadership Plan which aims to entirely shift away from coal as a fuel for power generation by 2030. It is also planned to have at least 30% of the provinces overall energy coming from renewable sources by 2030. For the first time in decades, in 2018, the province was able to achieve less than 50% of its energy needs from non-coal sources. This tool will be here every step of the way.