Economic network

The Weather Network – Why are electric vehicles so hard to get in Nova Scotia?

Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 3:24 p.m. — If you’re looking to buy an electric vehicle in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, expect to wait about eight months. Climate Policy Coordinator Thomas Arnason McNeil explains why there is a critical shortage of electric vehicle supply in a province of one million people at a time of skyrocketing fuel prices.

Halifax-based electric vehicle (EV) salesman Jeremie Bernardin says there is growing interest in EVs in Atlantic Canada for economic reasons

“We’re seeing a lot more people realize the savings you get from driving an electric vehicle and those gas prices are hurting everyone, aren’t they?” Bernardin told The Weather Network.

“It’s very expensive to go to work and go electric, there are really big savings,” Bernardin said.

Thomas Arnason McNeil, climate policy coordinator for sustainable transportation at the Ecology Action Center in Halifax, says demand for electric vehicles is not the problem in Nova Scotia, but rather supply.

“There is a severe shortage of electric vehicles in Nova Scotia. Only about 1 in 10 dealerships have an electric vehicle in the field, and wait times can be up to eight months.

So why is this?

In provinces such as Quebec and British Columbia, regulations are in place that require car manufacturers to sell a certain percentage of electric vehicles each year.

McNeil said, “We don’t currently have a policy like this implemented in Nova Scotia.”

“So when EVs enter the country, they are often redirected to these two provinces.”

A zero-emission vehicle delivery mandate was passed in Nova Scotia in November 2021 that said 30% of new vehicle sales would be electric by 2030. It simply hasn’t been implemented.

McNeil thinks part of the problem is that the provincial government may delay implementation to avoid having two overlapping policies.

“One of the challenges that there has been is that the feds have said OK, this is a huge problem in many places across the country, so we’re going to do a federal sell-out mandate, but the fact is that’s slated for 2024,” McNeil said.

With transportation being the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, McNeil thinks it should be implemented sooner rather than later.

“At some point we’re going to have to tackle passenger vehicle emissions and the way to do that is as quickly as possible, get people to drive electric vehicles. Now what you need at the same time is is to make cities walkable, to make cities bikeable, and to give people better access to clean public transport.”

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