7:00 PM, Thursday, March 26, 2015
At Lyncrest Airport, 57119 Murdock Road, Winnipeg
Over the past several years, members of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association (MEVA) have utilized their many talents and training to convert cars, trucks, tractors, bikes, an SUV and more… to electric vehicles. Members of the Winnipeg Chapter of the Recreational Aircraft Association of Canada (RAA) also bring with them a broad spectrum of experiences and interests. Most pilots in the association are aircraft builders, who are keen to advance aircraft technology.
Some of these innovative Manitobans are interested in taking to the skies using only electric power. Therefore, the Winnipeg Chapter of RAA invited the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association to a joint meeting to discuss the intriguing challenges of designing and building electric-powered airplanes. Other experts from across North America were invited to this special meeting, too. Indeed, anyone who wished to attend was welcome to join the conversation.
It was inspiring to see how quickly electric aircraft technology is advancing. From the almost home-made electric plane that Professor Dennis Jacobs built in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota to the superb Sun Flyer, e-plane, being manufactured by George Bye’s company, Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation, in Denver Colorado, they were all truly impressive aircraft. The more than twenty MEVA members and friends in attendance all agreed that this was a very special event.
A big thanks to Jim Oke, President of the Winnipeg Chapter of the Recreational Aircraft Association of Canada, all of the other presenters, and especially to Professor Jill Oakes, a member of both MEVA and the Recreational Aircraft Association, for organizing this great opportunity to discuss ways to take green technology to new heights. Everyone concurred, we should do it again!
On June 1, 2012, the province released a report by the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Advisory Committee (EVAC). This report includes 18 actions with recommendations for accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) in Manitoba and seek for opportunities related to this emerging technology.
Although it is expected that the government will not implement all the actions recommended by EVAC, we see this release as an important indicator that after the publication of the Electric Vehicle Road Map over a year ago, EV’s remain in the Provincial agenda.
Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak noted the Province’s plan to facilitate the adoption of EV’s will not include a per vehicle consumer incentive, adding that Manitoba’s low-cost electricity will offset some of the higher costs associated with purchasing these vehicles. Although we concur with Minister Chomiak that Manitoba’s low hydro rates are a clear advantage to adopters of EV’s, we believe that this benefit is not sufficient to offset the price differentials between electric and conventional vehicles. Higher procurement costs are a significant barrier to EV uptake, so an array of incentives would be required, including both consumer rebates and low electricity rates.
In addition, we would like to mention that the EVAC’s report does not address the promotion of EV conversions. We feel EV conversion should play a significant role in the promotion, adoption and public education of EV’s, and an important contributor to our economy, development of our technical/labour resources and creation of local intellectual property.
As part of MEVA’s mandate, we will continue our discussions with the provincial government and other EV stakeholders to work together towards are mutual goal of promoting the use of clean, quiet, efficient EV for a greener Manitoba.
For more information, please read the news release http://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?archive=&item=14421
For a complete copy of EVAC’s report, http://www.manitoba.ca/iem/energy/transportation/images/ev_advisory_committee_final_report.pdf