Brian Kingston on Canada’s transition to EVs

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Brian Kingston to talk about what's going on with Canada’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs). 

What does EV adoption look like in Canada right now? 

“Less than 1% of cars on the road in Canada are electric. If we're going to get to a place of mass adoption, the technology needs to improve so that you know you can get at least the range of a gas-powered car, maybe more, and the cars need to be affordable. Batteries also don't perform as well in Canada’s cold climate, so investments are needed to address that.”

What about the investments for charging infrastructure? 

“Automakers are investing in charging, but they can’t build the full North American network. We don’t yet have enough EV drivers for a charging station to be a profitable business, so there’s a role for government to overbuild before we actually have a large EV fleet on the road. We need to effectively build infrastructure, though it might not be used immediately.” 

And how is the government approaching the EV transition? 

“I have to give them credit for recognizing that we have serious barriers to adoption. Over the past few budgets, they’ve put $1.2 billion into charging. But I’d like to see a direct link between the targets set by the Environment Ministry to curb the sales of gas-powered cars and the infrastructure required for EVs. If we don’t do that, we cannot hit those targets.” 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Listen to the full conversation here.