The Edmonton Electric Vehicle Association says its electric vehicle fleet has grown by more than 30 per cent since last year.
But the association is warning that the growth isn’t sustainable and that the organization’s membership is “on the cusp of a tipping point.”
“It’s the perfect storm,” said Chris Wilson, the executive director of the Edmonton Electric Car Association.
“We have a lot of growth coming and going, and we have a few new members that are getting the new vehicles and the new systems.
But at the same time we are facing a very significant shortfall in membership.”
A new generation of electric vehicles is coming to the market in the next two years, but the demand is growing faster than the supply.
Wilson said membership has increased by more, but that the number of members is now less than half what it was in 2014.
The organization’s newest membership cards show that a majority of Edmonton-area electric car owners have already purchased at least one electric car.
But Wilson said there’s a long way to go to meet the growing demand, which he expects will continue to grow as the region’s population grows.
“We’re seeing a lot more people who want to buy and have the best of both worlds,” Wilson said.
“They can buy a gas-powered car, but also a plug-in hybrid vehicle.
That’s going to be a big part of their life in the future.”
He said the membership has been growing at a slower pace than the number and quality of vehicles that are being sold.
“In the last three years, we’ve gone from about 80,000 vehicles, to about 100,000,” Wilson noted.
“But in a sense, that’s just a matter of time.”
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to how to plan for an electric car’s life cycle.
Electric cars typically run on electricity generated by a battery pack.
The more energy a battery has to work, the more energy it can store.
But they also can degrade over time.
For example, a battery with an estimated 20,000 kilometres (12,500 miles) of range can only store about 8,000 kWh.
The number of kilometres of range an electric vehicle can store depends on many factors, including how much battery energy is needed to keep the car going, how much charging it needs and how fast it can charge.
“A lot of times the only way to determine how much charge your vehicle has is to look at the range, but we can do a lot better,” Wilson added.
“So we’ve been working with a battery company to develop a battery that can store about 10,000 kW of charge, which is more than twice as much as a standard battery.”
So that’s really the future of electric cars, where the average age of a vehicle will be about 30 years, because you’ll have a battery you can charge with and have that as your primary battery.
So we’re looking at a lot longer range.
“As electric cars become more popular, they will need to become more fuel efficient and therefore less fuel-efficient.
Wilson said the number one way to improve fuel efficiency is to install a fuel cell.
The fuel cell is an electric motor that uses the same energy as the battery to run a generator.
The Alberta government is also considering making it a mandatory requirement for electric car drivers to have a fuel-cell vehicle.
He said that could reduce demand for gas-guzzling vehicles and could also allow Edmonton to achieve the province’s goal of having one million electric cars on the road by 2020.”
It’ll allow us to make a bigger impact in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing CO2 emissions and having a cleaner, greener city,” Wilson predicted.
The Edmonton Electric car Association says it will begin rolling out new membership cards in the coming weeks, but they will be aimed at new members and those who haven’t yet bought a car.
The group has also begun collecting data on its members to gauge how many people are purchasing electric vehicles and how long it will take for membership to grow.
It’s also trying to better understand how many electric cars are available in the region.”
The number one thing we’re really focused on is getting people to get a car and not be in an existing car, so that’s the biggest issue we have right now.”