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Dan McTeague

The problem with Electric Vehicles


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From Canadians for Affordable Energy

Dan McTeague Written By Dan McTeague

For years now we’ve been hearing about the wonders of electric vehicles (EVs). Enormous amounts of money have been spent by governments to entice people to buy them, from subsidies to free charging stations.

Here in Canada, the Trudeau Liberals have already subsidised EVs at a cost of $1 billion. Another $680 million in the next five years will go toward the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) to build an entire new infrastructure of charging stations.

In Ontario, Doug Ford’s government are ready “to become a North American hub for the next generation of electric vehicles,” and Ford’s PCs have recently committed to matching a $295 million investment from the Trudeau’s Liberals to retool the Ford Oakville Assembly Complex to become a global hub for battery electric vehicle production.

Electric vehicles are held up as the great green alternative to gas-powered vehicles.  In fact, the federal government has set a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks to be zero-emission by 2035 [read: electric and not gas-powered]. This is even more ambitious than their previous goal of 100% sales by 2040.

And, it seems, virtually the entire Canadian political class has either embraced or surrendered to the seemingly unstoppable momentum of EVs.

Well, here’s an interesting twist. Just the other week it was revealed that the Swiss government is considering legislation that would make it illegal for people to drive EVs over the winter except when it’s “absolutely necessary”.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Swiss government is discouraging people – to the point of making it illegal! – from driving their electric cars.

Why? Simple: there is not enough energy supply in Switzerland to power them.

Confused? How can this be?

Let me explain.

During the summer months, Switzerland gets around 60 percent of its energy from hydropower. But in the winter, hydro can’t produce enough energy, so the country imports a lot of electricity from France and Germany – both of which have long been dependent on Russian oil and gas imports.

Now that those “fossil fuels” have largely been cut off, these various European countries – not just Switzerland – are facing severe energy shortages this winter. This means that there won’t be enough electricity for people to charge their EVs.  This move highlights the obvious flaw in this push towards electrification, especially EVs. While EVs don’t burn fuel, you need to charge the battery which, of course, requires energy.

Still confused?  Right – perhaps you have never stopped to consider where the “energy” comes from that powers the EV charging stations?

Or did you just think that it was “magic” that powered the EVs?

Almost everywhere in the world, the charging stations are getting a lot of their power from oil and gas – the very same “fossil fuel” energy that EVs were supposed to replace. In many places, the power is coming from coal.

So to be clear, most countries typically need coal or oil or gas as a source of energy to power the charging stations, the very charging stations upon which many EV owners “power” their smug virtue signalling.

Some EV owners think, and even say out loud, that they are more concerned about the environment than you are. How can they say this?  Well, this is because they have an electric vehicle, while you drive a gas-guzzling vehicle that is destroying the planet.

All the while, their very same electric vehicle most likely gets its energy, ultimately, from the same sort of greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuel that you do.

Ahem. (There are many other issues with EVs including the very expensive batteries with materials mined out of the earth, which is hardly a “zero emission” activity, or the reliability of the vehicles in our northern climate. More on that in another post.)

Consider too that here in Canada, the Trudeau government is pushing hard for us to move away from fossil fuels which provide reliable base power to our grid, towards renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, which are unreliable and intermittent.

Now imagine how this could play out over the next decades. If governments follow through on their plans to ban traditional gas-powered vehicles, it is their stated hope that everyone will have to drive an EV.

But, at the same time, governments want to shut down the traditional energy sector which – for the foreseeable future –provides most of the energy supply that powers EVs. If we’re forced to get all our power from wind and solar, that just means most people will never be able to drive anywhere.

We should consider what is happening in Switzerland as a warning shot. Our energy grids simply cannot provide enough power for electric vehicles, and this move towards EVs for everyone will fail.  The Trudeau government is promoting a short-sighted, virtue-signalling policy that will cause significant societal harm along the way.

Maybe the disastrous situation in Europe this winter will lead to some long-overdue second thoughts about EVs, and the whole climate change agenda.

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Current EV strategy charging ahead to failure

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Dan McTeague  Written By Dan McTeague

For years now I’ve been saying that electric vehicles, and EV mandates, are bad for Canada.

Back in 2020, when the then-CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, voiced his concerns that governments were moving too fast in their push for an all-electric car market when there were other good options available which didn’t require the same multi-billion dollar infrastructure overhaul or increase in electricity generation, I asked why we weren’t listening to a man who knows his own business.

When Europe found itself in an energy crisis in the winter of 2022, and the Swiss government asked its citizens to avoid driving their EVs, even considering an outright ban, to protect their fragile electricity grid, I said that with our already-strained grid we were seeing our future playing out before us in Switzerland and mandates or no, consumers just wouldn’t stand for it.

And more recently, as stories have piled up of EVs’ vulnerability to the cold — “We got a bunch of dead robots out here,” as one frustrated EV owner put it, surrounded by frozen EVs that had run out of juice while waiting for a charge in a cold snap — I’ve asked over and over again, why on earth our government is trying to force the large scale adoption of an automobile technology which functions so poorly in a normal Canadian winter.

I take no pleasure in being proved right, but nearly every day brings about a new story of EVs failing to meet the lofty expectations our leaders have set for them.

  • Recent headlines have trumpeted the difficulties EV drivers are having getting their cars fixed, because so few mechanics know how to work on them.
  • People are finding that the resale value of their EV is falling at a much faster rate than their neighbour’s reliable internal combustion engine vehicle.
  • Rental car companies like Hertz have been taking major losses after over-investing in EVs, that no one wants to rent. Apparently people don’t like the idea of pinning their vacation on a car they might not be able to charge.
  • And major auto manufacturers have been significantly scaling back their annual EV production, despite impending mandates which will force consumers to buy their product in just over a decade.

Even with the generous government subsidies handed to Ford in order to produce made-in-Canada electric SUVs, that company has decided to push their release date for the vehicles back two years — a decision that means layoffs for the majority of the 2,700 workers at the plant, according to the Globe and Mail. GM has followed suit, with recent  reports  claiming that they are “having a second look” at plans to build EV motors at their plant in St. Catherines, Ontario.

Those companies are beginning to accept reality, something various nations around the world have started to do, as well. The U.K., Germany, Italy, and other European countries, as well as the U.S., have had resistance to EV mandates play a big role in their politics lately. The Biden campaign was even forced to issue a statement saying, “There is no ‘EV mandate,’” after Donald Trump predicted to Detroit autoworkers that the White House’s pro-EV policies would put them out of work.

In the face of all of this, the Trudeau government continues to double down, reaffirming mandates and shovelling more and more tax dollars into the EV fire.

They should know better.

And maybe they do.

But maybe the dollars and the promises to their activist friends have just gotten so big that they feel like they can’t change course now.

Or maybe they are just too stubborn to admit that people like me were right all along, that they bet big and they bet wrong. And they can’t say they weren’t warned.

Buckle up.

Dan McTeague is President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

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Dan McTeague

The Carbon Tax is part of a bigger plan to change the way you live

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From Canadians for Affordable Energy

Dan McTeague Written By Dan McTeague

On April 1, the carbon tax is going to rise from $65 per tonne to $80 per tonne, and it seems Canadians are noticing this jump more than those of the past few years.

Back in 2019, the Trudeau government announced its 566% carbon tax hike, starting at $15 per tonne and increasing yearly until 2030, when it would reach a staggering $170 per tonne. It received some attention at the time, but there was not a great deal of pushback. Presumably the numbers were too abstract to catch people’s attention and 2030 seemed a long way off.

But today things are different. It helps that Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre has been campaigning aggressively against the tax, with rallies and petitions to ‘Axe the Tax.’

Even Liberal premiers, such as Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador, have been pleading with Justin Trudeau to hit pause on the increase. In fact, a total of seven premiers in the country have spoken out against the tax, asking for a delay in its increase.

That’s because they recognize the tax is hurting Canadians. The cost of everything has gone up. It’s gotten so tough for businesses that some restaurants have begun adding a ‘carbon tax’ line item to the final bill. And if Canadians think it is bad now, wait until 2030 when the carbon tax will more than double its current rate.

The other reason people are more aware of the increase is because, well, the tax is working. It’s doing what it was designed to do, though maybe not in the way you might think. The goal is not simply to reduce emissions — in fact emissions have gone up. The goal is actually more nefarious than that. Let me explain.

The carbon tax is one of the pillars of the United Nations, World Economic Forum (WEF) Net-Zero-by 2050 agenda. In order to achieve their objective, they need all of us to fundamentally alter the way we live our daily lives. They want us to drive less, fly less, eat less meat (and more bugs). The carbon tax is a punitive means of achieving this.

In fact, the Trudeau government’s own Healthy Climate, Healthy Economy plan articulates the logic of the tax quite well when it says, “The principle is straightforward: a carbon price establishes how much businesses and households need to pay for their pollution. The higher the price, the greater the incentive to pollute less, conserve energy and invest in low-carbon solutions.”

It’s worth noting that they’re using a pretty loose definition of ‘pollution’ here, because we all know that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant — it is a gas which makes life on earth possible.

Even so, their intention is clearly stated — they figure that, if the price of fuelling up your car, going on a vacation and heating your home gets high enough, you will have to drastically alter the way you live your day-to-day life.

You will stop flying, cut back on driving, use fewer appliances. And really, you’ll just get used to having less money, until — following the slippery slope to its conclusion — you will “own nothing and be happy,” in the words of that infamous WEF tweet.

Which is to say, the carbon tax is a punishment for participating in normal economic activity, for living a regular life. Of course, for the time being you can catch a break if you live in Atlantic Canada and heat your home with oil, but if you live in the prairies and heat your home with natural gas, sorry, but you’re out of luck. You aren’t in a Liberal riding, after all!

And even then, the Liberals and their activist friends are banking on Canadians reducing their carbon emissions in order to achieve their Net Zero 2050 target.

So good for Pierre Poilievre, Andrew Furey and the other premiers for pushing back on the carbon tax.

But let’s not forget that, as noxious as it is, it’s only one small part of the Liberals’ Net Zero agenda.

Eliminating the carbon tax is merely cutting off one head of the hydra. If Canada’s political leaders are really concerned with affordability, then they need to target the monster’s heart.

It’s time that we not only axe the tax, but we need to scrap Net Zero.

Dan McTeague is President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

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