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Making EVs more affordable

ANGELA BISCHOFF,

Director of Ontario Clean Air Alliance


While Tesla has now committed to cutting the cost of its electric cars by half, electric vehicles (EVs) remain expensive on an upfront basis but can make great economic sense if lifetime costs are considered. There is a win-win solution to this problem, however, which the Ontario government is ignoring.


Putting thousands of EVs on the road, in Ontario, could create a new economical way to store power. Most EVs are parked 95 percent of the time, meaning there is plenty of opportunity to use the energy stored in their batteries during peak periods, instead of firing up polluting gas peaker plants.

With the federal government now mandating all cars sold after 2035 be zero emissions, we need to make the most of this transition. Instead of installing dumb one-way charging infrastructure, we need to deploy bi-directional chargers, allowing EV owners to sell power back to the system, during peak electricity demand periods.

In 2030, the total capacity of Ontario's electric vehicle (EV) batteries will be at least 24,200 MW, more than 16 times the capacity of the new gas plants proposed by the Independent Electricity System Operator.

It would be significantly cheaper for Ontario to pay EV owners to sell power in peak periods rather than to build expensive gas peaker plants. At current time-of-use rates, EV owners would be paid 15.1 cents per kWh for power, during peak periods, compared to 20 to 26 cents per kWh to produce this power with polluting gas plants.

What do you think? Do you think it's important EVs be fueled with zero-emissions power? Do you think EV batteries should store power and then sell it back to the grid during peak demand? Take our online poll, at https://www.cleanairalliance.org/how-should-we-power-evs/.

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