Thousands plug into Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Expo experience

Thousands of Edmontonians turned out to see, learn about and experience the world of electric vehicles firsthand at the Edmonton Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Expo September 24-25, 2022, at the Edmonton EXPO Centre.

The Expo, produced with financial contributions from Natural Resources Canada, was designed to introduce Edmontonians who may be unfamiliar with electric vehicles to a wide range of zero emission mobility options. In addition to electric cars, bikes and scooters, the City also took the opportunity to unveil its new hydrogen bus, which will join the fleet soon alongside our battery electric buses.

EVs and experts highlight the Expo

The cars were the highlight of the Expo with a range of EVs from the affordable Chevy Bolt EV to the extravagant Porsche Taycan stealing the show. The Electric Vehicle Owners Association of Alberta (EVAA) was on hand to show off their vehicles, including a Ford F1 Lightning, and to talk to attendees about their experiences as everyday owners. 

Edmontonians check out one of the electric vehicles on display at the Edmonton Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Expo.

EVAA is a non-profit organization with more than 100 members across the province who have a cumulative 3.2 million electric kilometres driven between them. One of their members, Janine Rutledge, was a panelist on the Change for Climate Education Stage for Living the Electric Dream: A day in the life of an EV owner. Rutledge and other panel members shared their honest experiences as EV owners to help educate on what making the change from gasoline takes. 

“Electric cars are becoming way more realistic for your average person,” said Janine Rutledge, one of the panelists in the Living the Electric Dream education session. “They’re becoming more readily available, the technology’s improving, and people are thinking about it more.”

Take an electric vehicle ride with Rutledge in the video:

Test drives prove popular

Another highlight of the show was an appearance by Plug ‘n Drive Ontario’s Mobile Electric Vehicle Education Trailer (MEET). The MEET is a community-hub for EV education and awareness that comes equipped with informational displays, interactive learning tools and provides the opportunity to test drive in some of the latest EV models from leading manufacturers. All of MEET’s test drive spots were booked quickly. Registrants got the opportunity to drive one of three EVs: Volvo XC40 Recharge, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Edmontonians line up for a test drive at the Edmonton Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Expo

Edmonton’s Climate Strategy

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is one of the City’s top priorities. We know that cars will continue to be a common part of Edmonton’s transportation system. About 77 per cent  of all daily trips made by Edmontonians are made by car—either as a driver or passenger. 

“Reducing emissions from transportation is essential to meet our climate goals,” said Kent Snyder, Branch Manager for Planning and Environment. “Electrifying transportation will lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, particularly as Alberta’s electricity grid gets greener by decommissioning coal and adding more renewable energy production.” 

Snyder said the Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy identifies how the City can help make it easier to own an electric vehicle, prepare the path for electrifying transportation of personal vehicles and ultimately help reduce GHG emissions. The City’s EV Strategy comes out of the  City of Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy and Action Plan, which has set ambitious climate action goals and commits Edmonton to reduce community GHG emissions:

by 2025: by 35 per cent (compared to 2005 levels);

by 2030: by 50 per cent (compared to 2005 levels); and

by 2050: achieve net zero per person GHG emissions.

One of Edmonton’s new battery electric vehicles on display at the Edmonton Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Expo

While walking, biking and taking public transit are the best ways to reduce emissions from transportation, zero-emission vehicles are poised to play a key role in those emission reductions. However, the City’s most recent Climate Change and Energy Perceptions Survey (2021), found 48 per cent have no experience with electric vehicles. 

With new electric vehicles being announced almost daily, it’s very likely that your next vehicle could be battery electric. Canada is committed to decarbonizing the country’s transportation sector and becoming a global leader in zero emission vehicles. As such, the Government of Canada is aiming for 100% of new light-duty sales to be zero-emission by 2035. Learn more about the Federal Government’s incentives for electric vehicles here.

Editor’s note: the pic at the top of the post shows the Porsche Taycan at the Edmonton Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Expo, held on September 24-25, 2022, at the Edmonton EXPO Centre.