North Glenmore Park is full of cars from people attending the Dragon Boat Festival on Crowchild Trail SW in Calgary, on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Calgary, Alta. (Photo by Yaqing Ke/ The Emery Weal)

The City of Calgary aims to achieve the Clean Electricity goals of the Federal Government’s Net-Zero Strategy by 2035, and this decision has expanded the demand for electric cars in local dealerships.

Calgary city council proposed an update for the city’s Climate Strategy and Pathways to 2050. According to the Net Zero Strategy, Canada would ban all gas-power car production in 2035 to control the overall gas (GHG) emission.

The increased price of gasoline also boosts the demand for electric vehicles in the car market.

“What we are after here will create multiplier affect jobs and investment. So, this strategy is based on economic realities. The strategy, in my opinion, is inclusive because all residents, but more importantly, all city businesses need to do their part,” said Ward 5 Councillor Raj Dhaliwal at a city council meeting on July 5.

Huge demand, short supply

Clean Energy Canada shows that 80 per cent of Canadians would consider buying electric cars.

Moreover, data from IHS Markit reveals that in the first quarter of 2022, 8.3 per cent of new vehicle registrations are electric cars. This is three per cent more than the previous quarter.

“We often have clients come into our car dealer asking for electric cars or hybrid models,” said Yu Mu, sales representative of Kia South Trail Calgary car dealership.

“Even though our corporation does have a grand plan for clean energy cars in the following 10 years, but right now, we do not have any electric vehicles in stock, and the hybrid models almost sell within two days after arriving.”

“Moreover, the waiting time for electric models is rather long; the waiting time for an electric vehicle takes at least one year after the purchase. So, most customers would give up buying an electric vehicle when they learned the facts,” Mu said to the Weal.

Most motor corporations have entered the clean energy industry for a short period. Zero-Emission vehicles are seeing growth in the Canadian vehicle market, but are presently a tiny slice of the market.

A hefty price tag

North Glenmore Park’s parking lot is full of cars at the Dragon Boat Festival in Calgary Alta, on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (Photo by Yaqing Ke/The Emery Weal)

Besides the scarcity of supplies in car dealers, price is another reason why some consumers turn back to gas-power vehicles.

“The cost to produce electric vehicles is relatively high. The high batteries and electric motors for the complex system makes the cars pricier than gas-powered ones,” said Ming Yang, sales representative at the CMP Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC dealership in northeast Calgary.

“Except for some gas-efficient cars, Cadillac also produces electric vehicles. They cost more than $20,000 per car compared to the same functional gas-powered vehicles.”

According to Electric Autonomy, the long waiting time for an electric car is a national problem for everyone who wishes to purchase electric vehicles in Canada. Therefore, it raises the demand for hybrid vehicles. Nevertheless, hybrid cars also face the problem of scarcity in stock by car dealers in Calgary.

Yaqing Ke

Yaqing Ke is a SAIT journalism student and a contributor for the Emery Weal.

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