Saturday, 25 August 2018

Saturday Photo: Electric Cars, Only as Clean as Their Source of Energy

The folks a couple of blocks away have not one, but two electric cars.  Each cost a pretty penny, I'm sure.  But so did their house, which they've spent a lot of money on refurbishing.

I must say that I'm of two minds about giving subsidies to those who can afford these cars.  At the moment in Quebec you can get  a rebate of up to $8000 on the purchase of a new one, and $600 toward installing a recharging station at your home.  In Ontario, the new PC government is doing away with that province's subsidies which were considerably higher than Quebec's. 

Unless the electricity to charge these vehicles comes from a "green" renewable source, like solar, wind or hydroelectric, there is very little environmental good coming from them since emissions from traditional generating plants are extremely CO2 intense.  Furthermore, just adding more cars to the roads will not solve the other problems of our urban centers.  Better, probably, to put money into public transportation, including inter-city buses and trains. 

1 comment:

lagatta à montréal said...

The main point should be to stop normalising and prioritising private cars (though I do think electric is less polluting here, where our power is hydro). When I first travelled to Amsterdam to facilitate at an institute there, it was located in Oude Zuid, an "old money" area not unlike Outremont, and still, most well-dressed commuters were taking the tram into the city centre (and now, the new metro line down to business centres in the South). It was faster and the trams were and are efficient and clean.

I do wish avenue du Parc would become a tram line, as it could carry far more people in greater comfort and be an alternative to the overburdened orange métro line. Your east-west alternatives are a bit more problematic now, as the 51 eastbound ends at Laurier métro as do the 27 and 47 westbound, and the Bernard (Barclay) bus is far too infrequent.