We are very pleased to inform our membership that the Government of Manitoba has reached another milestone towards the electrification of Manitoba’s roads.

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