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It’s All About Range For Canadian E-Vehicle Shoppers

Overcoming Canadians’ range anxiety will be critical to achieving government strategists’ goals for consumer adoption of electric cars in the world’s second-largest national geography, the National Observer reports this week.

Several provinces and the federal government have signaled their desire to increase electric vehicle use. Ontario offers a whopping $14,000 per vehicle in incentives, aiming for electrics to grow to 5% of new car sales by 2020. Quebec provides a subsidy of $8,000, British Columbia $5,000. But even with those inducements, and the fact that most daily commutes are far shorter, the roughly 100-kilometre range limits of most current electric models are a deterrent to many Canadian drivers.

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The response must come from both manufacturers and government, suggested Ford Product Marketing Manager Marc Vejgman. Carmakers are improving the range of batteries: Ford will introduce a new, 160-kilometre battery in its all-electric Focus this fall, and Nissan saw sales of its Leaf jump by 50% when it boosted its battery pack into the same range last year.

Meanwhile, Ottawa, Ontario, and Quebec have all committed to expand networks of charging stations on major highways.

“(With) both the federal government and provincial governments working together to develop the infrastructure,” Vejgman said, “you’ll see range anxiety eventually disappear.”