The hard road towards electrification
By Pierre-Olivier Pineau, Chair of Energy Sector Management at HEC Montréal
With the price of gas reaching unheard-of highs, you might think that switching to electric cars will be easy. After all, who would want to pay such high prices for gas?
At the start of March 2022, the average price for regular gas reached close to $2 per litre in some areas of Quebec. This is unprecedented! Since Quebecers use their vehicles to travel a distance of around 14,000 km per year, and the average consumption of the province’s cars is 9.3 litres per 100 km (according to Natural Resources Canada), we are about to very quickly exceed $2,600 a year for gas, or over $50 per week.
However, the government does not seem to believe that gas-powered vehicles will be abandoned on their own account. It has set a goal to have 1.5 million electric vehicles (called EVs, whether these are hybrid vehicles or completely electric) on the road by 2030 and will prohibit the sale of gas-powered cars in 2035. To help Quebec reach these goals, several measures have been put in place. They show that individual choices, without incentives or constraints, would definitely not enable the achievement of these targets.