How Green Is My Electric Vehicle

On March 31, 2016, over 200 people lined up at a Montreal dealership — in the rain —to put down $1,000 deposits for the Tesla Model 3. With a range of 345 kilometers per charge and a base price of US$35,000, this was an exciting option for drivers looking for an emissions-friendly choice that’s also a high-performance vehicle.
Those Montreal drivers, and many more all across Canada, have or will soon be taking delivery of their Model 3s and joining the ranks of electric car drivers across the country. And the number of drivers is growing rapidly. In 2014, there were only 10,000 electric vehicles on Canada’s roads. By 2016 that number stood at more than 22,000, and at the end of March 2017, the numbers reached 32,482.

There are many theories and concerns about just how green electric cars are. At Green Drinks Sarnia on October 11,2017 we are welcoming Mr. John Ward as our discussion leader who will address a number of these concerns and guide us through the facts and the myths of how green is my electric car. John, a long time supporter of environmental initiatives in Sarnia Lambton and beyond, trained as a mechanical/aeronautical engineer in the UK and has been a Professional Engineer of Ontario (PEO) since 1987 and a chartered member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers since 1977. Mr. Ward is also the owner of a Chevy Volt Hybrid Electric Vehicle. (A hybrid vehicle runs on electricity but when the battery gets drained it has a gas powered backup system)

So what are the main concerns:

  1. Too Expensive
  2. Takes too long to charge
  3. Charging stations few and far between
  4. Canada is too cold for electric car efficiency
  5. Resources to build and then dispose of the batteries

John will talk to all of these points as well as my favorite “Thrill Factor”, Can a person get the same enjoyment offered by driving a high performance gas engine?

Electric cars are indeed more efficient in their use of energy than gas-powered car where the rubber meets the road. About 60 per cent of the power generated by their battery is converted to power at the wheel while a gas-powered car is usually less than 20 per cent. But that’s just a detail relevant to physics and engineering. The real question is whether electric cars are efficient over their entire lives when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is an important issue that is influenced by many factors. Please join us.

Green Drinks Sarnia is a monthly environmental discussion forum whose purpose is to create a friendly atmosphere from which to look at current issues that affect us with a balanced view.  Each month a topic is selected and a person knowledgeable about the topic is asked to lead the discussion.

Green Drinks Sarnia happens on the second Wednesday of every month.

Green Drinks Sarnia is held at 100 Christina Street in downtown Sarnia.

Green Drinks Sarnia is always agenda free.

And perhaps most important Green Drinks Sarnia is always free to attend.

At each session, we provide a light snack from the One Tomato Kitchen’s – Food Works grade seven healthy eating and cooking program.  Beer and Wine are also available.