Edmonton expo back in town to promote electric vehicles

Third annual National Drive Electric Week Expo in Edmonton, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Julia Wong, Global News

Edmontonians received a crash course on electric vehicles on Saturday.

The third annual National Drive Electric Week Expo educated people on the advantages and challenges of driving electric vehicles in Edmonton’s climate.

“In Alberta, one of the big factors that keeps people away from adopting EVs is does it work in winter, does it work in cold weather? So we’re here to address [that] we have owners, and yes, it works,” Andrew Batiuk, Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta, said.

Those who attended the expo were not only educated on electric vehicles but had an opportunity to test ride a Tesla Model S.

READ MORE: Buying an electric car? Here are some factors Canadian drivers should consider

Western Canada’s first and only electric school bus was also presented, and the City of Edmonton and Energy Efficiency Alberta provided information on environment initiatives taking place in the city.

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Some Canadian provinces offer incentives for drivers who opt for electric cars. The Ontario government offers a rebate of up to $14,000 for cars, and $1,000 off charging installations. Quebec offers up to $8,000 off cars, while British Columbia gives up to $5,000.

While the incentives have helped get Canadians on board, there has been backlash against them, according to electrical engineering professor Olivier Trescases.

He says the issue is “basically that we’re subsidizing rich people to buy electric cars.”

READ MORE: Climate change: Electric cars can make bigger difference than once believed, study finds

Saturday’s event was organized by the Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta.

National Drive Electric Week is a nationwide event to heighten awareness of the availability of plug-in vehicles and the benefits of all-electric and plug-in electric vehicles.


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