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Federal government should face facts—the EV transition is failing

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From the Fraser Institute

By Kenneth P. Green

” public charging infrastructure isn’t keeping pace with predicted consumer adoption of EVs, and as noted in a recent study published by the Fraser Institute, targets for consumer adoption of EVs are out of sync with historical timelines for the development of metals needed to make them “

A series of recent headlines in the Wall Street Journal reveal the extent to which government plans in Canada and the United States, to transition surface transportation from internal combustion to battery-electric power, are already showing signs of failure. “Ford Cuts Lightning Output in Latest Sign of EV Downshift,” reads one article while the editorial page says “The EV Backlash Builds: Companies cut output amid flagging demand” and “The Electric Vehicle Push Runs Out of Power.

And there’s evidence the electric vehicle (EV) transition is also stalling in other countries. In Germany, EV sales are in freefall as the cash-strapped government tapers off subsidies for EVs. Battery EV registrations dropped 29 per cent from the previous year while plug-in hybrid registrations dropped 35 per cent year-over-year.

Manufacturers are also pulling back from the EV market. Recently, only a year after announcing a US$5 billion joint venture between GM and Honda to develop affordable EVs, the two auto giants pulled the plug on the venture. Even in China, which planned to be the world’s dominant supplier of EVs and batteries, is finding the transition hard to sustain. As Bloomberg reports, “China’s Abandoned, Obsolete Electric Cars Are Piling Up in Cities.” The subhead of the article explains, “A subsidy-fueled boom helped build China into an electric-car giant but left weed-infested lots across the nation brimming with unwanted battery-powered vehicles.”

All of this should trouble the Trudeau government, which mandated that all new light-duty vehicles sold in Canada be EVs by 2035 and has poured taxpayer dollars into the predicted future EV and battery production industry. For example, $28 billion for two EV battery plants (Stellantis-LG and Volkswagen), $2.7 billion for a new battery manufacturing plant in Montreal (which will also get $4.6 billion in production incentives with one-third coming from Quebec), and $640 million for a new Ford electric vehicle factory (also in Quebec). Government has made other smaller investments in rare earth mining and refining to incentivize production of the metals needed to make EV batteries. And of course, all this “investment” government comes atop consumer incentives to convince people to buy EVs. The federal government offers incentives up to $5,000 for the purchase of light-duty vehicles, and up to $2,000 for medium-heavy duty vehicles. Seven Canadian provinces offer additional subsidies.

Clearly, the Trudeau government is betting heavily, with the limited resources of Canadian taxpayers, on an EV future that increasingly looks unlikely to happen. Governments around the world are running out of money to subsidize EVs, consumers are increasingly reluctant to buy EVs, public charging infrastructure isn’t keeping pace with predicted consumer adoption of EVs, and as noted in a recent study published by the Fraser Institute, targets for consumer adoption of EVs are out of sync with historical timelines for the development of metals needed to make them, insuring a bottleneck situation in the not-too-distant future.

In fact, to meet international EV adoption pledges, the world would need 50 new lithium mines by 2030, along with 60 new nickel mines and 17 new cobalt mines. The materials needed for cathode production will require 50 more new mines, and another 40 new mines for anode materials. The battery cells will require 90 new mines, and EVs themselves another 81. In total, this adds up to 388 new mines. For context, as of 2021, there were only 270 metal mines operating in the U.S. and only 70 in Canada. And mine development timelines are long—lithium timelines, for example, are approximately six to nine years, while production timelines (from application to production) for nickel are approximately 13 to 18 years.

The writing is on the wall. The Trudeau government should reconsider the reckless gambling with taxpayer money that its EV agenda represents. It should withdraw the “investments” where it can, and reconsider the country’s 2035 all-EV mandate. These all look increasingly like bad bets, with Canadian taxpayers being the ultimate losers.

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Automotive

Biden’s Kill Switch: The Growing Threat of Government Control of Your Car

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From StosselTV

The government may soon be able to shut down your car. Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill includes a kill switch for new cars.

In an effort to reduce drunk driving, government wants devices in cars that will monitor and limit impaired driving. But there’s a big problem: these devices give government control over your car.

Automotive engineer and former vintage race car driver Lauren Fix points out the dangers in my video.

After 40+ years of reporting, I now understand the importance of limited government and personal freedom.

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Libertarian journalist John Stossel created Stossel TV to explain liberty and free markets to young people.

Prior to Stossel TV he hosted a show on Fox Business and co-anchored ABC’s primetime newsmagazine show, 20/20.

Stossel’s economic programs have been adapted into teaching kits by a non-profit organization, “Stossel in the Classroom.” High school teachers in American public schools now use the videos to help educate their students on economics and economic freedom. They are seen by more than 12 million students every year.

Stossel has received 19 Emmy Awards and has been honored five times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club. Other honors include the George Polk Award for Outstanding Local Reporting and the George Foster Peabody Award.

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To get our new weekly video from Stossel TV, sign up here: https://www.johnstossel.com/#subscribe ————

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Trudeau’s electric vehicle mandate could cause Canada’s power grid to collapse, analysis shows

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Not only would the need to generate more electric power skyrocket, but prices and taxes would soar for consumers, a Fraser Institute study found.

A noted fiscally conservative think tank warned that a proposed federal mandate from the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban the sale of new gasoline/diesel-only powered cars after 2035 and allow electric-only sales is an unrealistic fantasy that would cause massive chaos by threatening to collapse the nation’s power grids.

“Requiring all new vehicle sales in Canada to be electric in just 11 years means the provinces need to substantially increase their power generation capabilities, and adding the equivalent of 10 new mega-dams or 13 new gas plants in such a short timeline isn’t realistic or feasible,” said G. Cornelis van Kooten, a Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of “Failure to Charge: A Critical Look at Canada’s EV Policy.”

“Canadians need to know just how much additional electricity is going to be required in order to meet Ottawa’s electric vehicle mandate, because its impact on the provinces — and taxpayers and rate payers — will be significant.”

Van Kooten’s in-depth analysis of the impending electric vehicle (EV) mandate was released March 14 and estimates that to meet the 2035 target national electric generation would need to go up some 15.3% in only 11 years, which is a monumental task.

This would mean building no less than 10 new mega hydro dams nationwide, or at least 13 new large natural gas plants, according to Van Kooten. For those pushing so-called “green” power, that would mean some 5,000 new wind turbines, which all must still be backed up by natural gas peaker plants because of their unreliability when the wind is not blowing.

Given the length of time it takes to build a natural gas plant due to red tape, costs, and other factors, van Kooten observed that “the major obstacle relates to the likelihood of constructing sufficient power generating capacity to meet the anticipated demand EVs would impose on electricity grids.”

“The real-world situation is not as easy as merely replacing current ICE vehicles with EVs, and there are many obstacles to be overcome on the path of electrifying the personal vehicle fleets within Canada,” he said.

“The type of electricity that goes into the grid would also be a big consideration when switching over to EVs, as jurisdictions will need to increase their electricity production capabilities with green sources that meet the additional hourly load requirements and can be employed quickly to balance intermittent renewable energy sources.”

Van Kooten’s study looks at how much extra electricity will be required in all of Canada’s biggest provinces, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec to meet the 2035 EV mandate.

Trudeau plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars after 2035. The EU (European Union) also has an EV mandate in place for the same year.

Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced just before Christmas the “Electric Vehicle Availability Standard.” This is a plan that will mandate that all new cars and trucks by 2035 be electric, which would in effect ban the sale of new gasoline- or diesel-only powered vehicles after that year.

The reality is that electric cars cost thousands more to make and buy, are not suited to Canada’s cold climate, offer poor range and long charging times (especially in cold weather), and have batteries that take tremendous resources to make and are hard to recycle.

Just over a week ago, LifeSiteNews reported that a 2022 study found that electric vehicles pollute at a rate far higher than their gasoline or diesel-powered counterparts.

Not all Canadian provinces are on board Trudeau’s EV dictate

In January, LifeSiteNews reported that Alberta’s Minister of Energy criticized the federally funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for publishing a report stating that electric cars are better able to handle cold weather than gas-powered ones, all at the same time an extreme cold snap gripped much of western Canada and nearly caused Alberta’s power grid to collapse due to its increased reliance on so-called renewable energy.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has promised that she intends to fight with “everything” at her disposal what she called an “unconstitutional” new federal government EV mandate as well as a net-zero power generation, which if implemented would lead to guaranteed power outages.

She noted that when it comes to Trudeau’s EV mandate, “Ottawa is trying to force increased demands on the electricity grid while simultaneously weakening Alberta’s and other provinces’ grids through their federal electricity regulations.”

Trudeau’s EV mandates have also been called out by the automotive industry in Canada. The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association said in response to the new EV mandate that forcing people to buy EVs will “disproportionately impact households living in rural and northern communities that may have lower access to public charging infrastructure.”

 

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