Last November, the BC NDP government announced a new target: 100% of all new light-duty vehicle sales to be zero emission by 2040, under B.C.’s electrification plan. As electric vehicles (EVs) are already experiencing exponential growth, this regulation will accelerate the EV adoption pace.
Considering all new vehicles are to be electric within two vehicle cycles (20 years), the need for EV charging infrastructure is and will become an immense opportunity. Gas stations will remain as many electric vehicles are plug-in hybrid with limited electric range. However, the majority of EVs are forecasted to be battery electric vehicle (BEV) resulting in an immense decrease in fuel demand while greatly increasing the need for EV charging infrastructure.
The real challenge will come from building the EV charging infrastructure fast enough for the EV adoption rate. In the last few years, the deployment of EV charging infrastructure has come from different levels of government to motivate people to purchase EVs. The rising number of EVs on the road resulted in seeing private investments contributing to a greater EV charging infrastructure deployment as the ROI generated becomes very attractive. “Turning stalls in to gas stations” as we say here at LeadingAhead Energy. Presently in British Columbia, many municipalities have mandated that all new multi-family residential developments provide EV readiness to all stalls and 10% to commercial developments. This regulation is very timely as studies show that over 70% of the charging sessions happen at home. For real estate developers and property managers, this is a great opportunity to plan and future-proof an investment. This regulation will help build the EV charging infrastructure but will not solve the issue of retrofitting existing building as well as servicing garage orphans. This is why private investments are critical to help build the infrastructure following the EV market growth pace. It’s been debated that large scale EV charging infrastructure deployment was nearly impossible, however Norway, The Netherlands and other countries have proven that theory wrong as there are privately owned EV charging networks of level 2 and level 3 chargers.
What does going from 1% to 100% EVs within 21 years look like? It means a new customer demand and the decentralization of energy. If you are operating in the tourism, retail, restaurant, workplace and related industries, it is an opportunity to tap into a new revenue stream previously unattainable. Anyone with access to electricity along with parking stalls has the ability to provide charging services that all EV drivers are looking for. Imagine booking a room today in a hotel where there is no Wi-Fi? It is guaranteed that it would be your last stay at that hotel. It is also true for EV charging stations when people are driving around town and/or traveling as not everyone will have access to a home charger. According to the National Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Analysis study performed by the U.S. Department of Energy, there will be a need for over 15 million public EV charging stations across the United States in the next decade to meet the EV charging demand. The same scenario is inevitable in Canada adjusting to Canadian scale figures
Ontario has followed BC’s lead on building regulations with slight differences and Quebec is currently working on theirs. It would not be surprising to see Quebec follow BC’s lead towards a 100% EV by 2040 as the province has already implemented a minimum annual EV sales to car manufacturers following California’s strategy.
According to The Future of Energy and Mobility report conducted by the World Economic Forum in 2018, electrification, decentralization and digitalization of energy could generate more than $2.4 trillion of value globally for society and industry by 2025 alone.