A photo of Tesla electric cars caught in a lengthy queue at a Supercharger station in Canada amid searing summer temperatures – nearly double that of the country’s average – has underlined the urgency for a transition to electric transport to help reduce the effects of climate change.
The photo, taken by “William S” and shared by @DriveTeslaca on Twitter, shows a line of mostly Tesla Model 3 electric sedans waiting to charge up at the Merritt Supercharger in south-western British Columbia, where the ABC reports temperatures have soared to as high as 46.6°C.
That’s almost double the summer average of 24°C. In the post shared by @DriveTeslaca, the temperature reported was 44°C.
As @DriveTeslaca noted in a message to The Driven, “In the province of BC where that supercharger is, there are a ton of Teslas. We have the highest rate of EV adoption in North America. Lots of people are summer road tripping now so it’s not uncommon to see like ups at that one and others along the route.”
The new record temperatures, unarguably an effect of climate change, come at the same time Canada has ambitiously committed to decarbonising its transport sector by 2035.
Transport accounts for the second-largest portion of carbon emissions in Canada according to this government web page, following closely behind the oil and gas sector.
As Ketan Joshi outlines in this article here, the new target to ban sales of new light-duty cars and passenger trucks with internal combustion engines (ICE) is five years earlier than Canada’s previous target of 2040.
The UK similarly has brought forward its deadlines to ban ICE sales, several times in fact. Its latest target to ban ICE sales is 2030, having originally set a 2040 target.
The images also underline the need to ramp up the installation of EV charging infrastructure for a smooth and timely transition to electric transport. Although EVs can be charged at home, this is not always suitable or convenient.
And the demand for new EV chargers promises to be high.
While Australia’s largest public charging station provider, Chargefox, recently announced it will expand its charging network to 5,000 plugs by 2025, in California (which accounts for about 45% of approximately 1.9 million EV registrations in the US) it has been estimated that 1.2 million public chargers will be needed to meet demand by 2030.
The new estimate published by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and titled “Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Assessment” says it expects 1.2 million chargers will be needed for passenger cars and an additional 157,000 will be needed for trucks and buses.
Veloz reports that a little more than 130,000 EVs were sold in the US in 2020, around 54,000 were sold in Canada. Both countries are far ahead of Australia, where around 6,000 EVs were sold in 2020.
However, while there are around 40,000 public charging stations in the US according to Statista, there are only 6,000 in Canada according to its government website, about 1,000 of which are DC fast chargers.
Another recent report that modelled future EV sales published by consultancy EY says that the EV transition will now happen five years sooner than previously thought, with EV sales outstripping all other engine sales in Europe, the US and China by 2033.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.