It’s time the Government of Nova Scotia took center stage in placing more autonomous vehicles on the road. The perspective of the Ecology Action Center‘s Kelsey Lane, supported by a 27-page Dunsky Energy Consulting report published for EAC.
Lane, who works with an environmental charity organization as a coordinator for sustainable transportation, said that the research had demonstrated the benefits of getting regional action to promote further supply-side adoption of electric vehicles with demand-sided policies.
The Dunsky and Lane report describe 400 vehicles registered in Nova Scotia that traverse the highways and byways of the province, making up less than one percent of motor traffic. Lane calls for zero-emission vehicle regulations as though they have in Quebec and additional incentives for driving demand and bringing down the cost on cars. The Quebec model is complex and is bound up with a state stipulation that only 3.5% of car sales be electric.
The electric vehicle’s average cost estimated at around $50,000, is expensive compared with the $35,000 for cars with combustion engines. The cost of maintenance for autonomous cars is $485 per annum, relative to $1.200 for combustion vehicles. The energy savings are estimated at $1400 annually, relying on 15,000 kilometers of regular use.
There is a $5,000 government discount on electric cars and a $2,500 discount on hybrid vehicles. Many jurisdictions, notably Quebec and British Columbia, offer $3,000 to $8,000 in annual rebates that raise adoption rates.
Dunsky’s report puts it that time is a factor and also emphasizing that Nova Scotia pledged to decrease its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 53% below 2005 rates by 2030 to stay under 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. The report continues to state that we will continue to miss the mark if we use the business-as-usual approach on autonomous vehicles and that the targets for federal electric cars won’t be achievable.
The market for electric cars won’t move by itself. Provincial government and industry leadership is critical to Nova Scotia’s take-up of electric vehicles, and supply is tied to demand. And people who may be committed to purchasing it may not be able to afford the cars of their desire.
The Dunsky report says the adoption of EV in Nova Scotia to date delays other states across North America, with EVs accounting for less than 1% of the region’s new sales, compared to up to 10% in powerhouse regions.
In conclusion, Lane expressed she’s confident the province will step away from burning fossil fuels such as coal for electricity over the next decade. Nevertheless, autonomous motors in Nova Scotia are about 50% more productive than single-engine internal combustion right now, and this also relies on the specific model.