Electric Vehicle Industry Moves Forward With NL’s Newest All-Electric Dealer Opening


An electric car plugged into the Galway charging station. The island-wide network has been officially online since August 2021. (Lukas Wall / CBC)

The province took another step towards its green energy transition on Monday, as a new all-electric car dealership opened in St. John’s.

The opening coincides with the completion of the electric vehicle charging network across the islands of 14 stations earlier this month.

Jeff Farwell, general manager of All EV Canada on Kenmount Road, says he is “impressed” by the interest in battery-powered cars.

“Since we’ve been here, it hasn’t stopped,” he said on Monday. “Citizens are ready for a transition.”

A cleaner and greener future

Ottawa is pushing for widespread adoption of electric vehicles to meet its greenhouse gas commitments: reduce emissions by at least 40% from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions of by 2050.

A quarter of the country’s emissions come from transportation – and half from gas-guzzling cars and light trucks, according to Transport Canada.

To this end, incentives have been offered at the federal and provincial levels: the incentive program for zero-emission vehicles introduced in May 2019 offers up to $ 5,000 for the purchase of an electric car, while the Newfoundland and Labrador rebate program offers an additional $ 2,500.

Jeff Farwell is the CEO of All EV Canada. (David Laughlin / CBC)

There were just under 200 electric cars registered in the province at the end of 2020, according to the provincial engine registration division, but it’s a number Farwell expects to increase very soon.

“We think overall the industry is huge for growth, not just in St. John’s and Newfoundland, but across Canada and the United States,” said Farwell. “Mainstream adoption has yet to happen, but we are seeing growth in our sales. “

The dealership provides training for future converts, including in-person briefings, as potential buyers typically have questions about range, charge times, and costs for gasoline vehicles.

“We understand that this is a different car purchase for people,” Farwell said. “People have to understand the benefits. They have to understand how they drive, how they react differently. That’s why we started our business as educators.”

The times they are loaded

Jon Seary, co-founder of the electric vehicle advocacy group Drive Electric NL, says he is “delighted” to see that the green energy transition is well underway.

“This is very important because more and more people are realizing that electric driving makes sense here in the province,” he said. “This saves a lot of money compared to the cost of running gasoline vehicles and all the maintenance that goes with them. People want to drive on electricity. try to do it all the time. “

Jon Seary is the co-founder of Drive Electric NL. (Henrike Wilhelm / CBC)

Seary said the completion of the charging network was a “critical step” in the province’s shift to green energy.

He also saw a “huge” change in the way people in the province view electric vehicles.

“A year and a half ago the questions were again: why would you want to do this? he said. “Now other questions are, what’s available out there, which dealers have them, and if I’m taking a long trip, where can I charge?”

Seary sees this gradual acceptance as the start of a new paradigm.

“In 1995, people were laughing at you if you said you would use your phone to book a plane ticket or listen to music. Well, now look where we are,” he said.

“And that’s exactly the same kind of adoption curve that is going to happen. So it would be nice if we were ready for that.”

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