Canada vs. Electric Cars: Round 2

Last week, Canada’s Globe and Mail published an article without running it through fact-check, which is usually a reliable indicator that the article was either;

  • A:  bought and paid for, or
  • B:  hastily thrown together by someone who has no idea what s/he is talking about.

I like to pretend there isn’t all that much evil in the world, so – in this case – I’m willing to give the Globe and Mail the benefit of the doubt and go with “b:  clueless.”

Am I being too harsh on the Canadians?  Again?

Maybe … but I’m being as diplomatic as I can when referring to the author of the article in question, who uses claims like “The Nissan Leaf is the only market-ready all-electric car” as the basis for comments like “That’s why I shake my head when I hear US President Barack Obama, in a push for clean energy, calling for one million electric cars to be on American roads by 2015. Again I say: Fat chance.” (emphasis mine)

Ignoring the fact that the writer’s conclusion seems to ignore the actual data, the claim that Nissan’s Leaf is the only ready-to-wear electric being sold underscores a severe lack of industry knowledge that seems to include an alarming ignorance of Google search results for electric cars – which returned Tesla Motors as the no. 1 result when I typed in “electric cars”.

That car up there in the photo?  Tesla Roadster.  Fully electric.  Been on sale for years.

There are other EVs out there, of course (as even the most casual Gas 2.0 readers are surely aware) but it should be troubling that someone is out there claiming they don’t exist, then turning around and using false claims as a means to deliver a decidedly anti-EV message. (Never mind the dozens of EV’s destined to hit showrooms in the next couple of years. -Ed.)

The article also includes the results from “a huge opinion survey conducted by Deloitte“, which showed “approximately two-thirds of respondents said they would not pay any more for an EV than a gas-powered car. Fat chance they’d get one for the same price!”  That “fat chance” comment?  Our friendly author, again, injecting their “informed” opinion.

Our guide through this brave new world of EV antagonism goes on, telling us that “when you get into the details of the survey, 75 per cent of Canadians don’t want an electric car unless it recharges in less than four hours and goes at least 480 kilometres on a single charge. It doesn’t matter that more than 80 per cent of Canadians drive less than 80 kilometres a day and it doesn’t matter that both the charge and the required range are technically impossible today.” (again, emphasis mine)

Really?  What about an EV that could be re-charged in minutes, on something like the Better Place Battery-swap rig that’s been in the works since 2009?  That’s not only technically possible today, that’s been done … 2 years ago!  Is that battery-swap oversight just another example of the author’s carelessness, or is there some serious agenda-pushing going on here?

Maybe it’s both.  Maybe it’s neither.  Maybe it’s just pandering to Alberta’s heavy-duty pickup market.  In any case, it is certainly an article filled with oversight after oversight, and controversial opinion after controversial opinion.

What do you think?  Let us know in the comments.

SourceThe Globe and Mail.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.