Fuelling Change with Electric Vehicles: Ecology Action Centre calls for provincial action | Ecology Action Centre

Fuelling Change with Electric Vehicles: Ecology Action Centre calls for provincial action



K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - On a route that has taken decades to travel, electric vehicles have truly and finally arrived. Yet, Nova Scotia is falling behind the rest of Canada and many countries across the globe in the uptake of EVs. Two significant levers are absent from the provincial marketplace: consumer incentives and supply-side mandates.

With electric vehicle sales expected to rise globally by 30 percent in the next decade, and 57 percent by 2040, Nova Scotia consumers could be poised to make a switch to electric. Currently, global electric vehicles account for 2.6 percent in sales. In Canada that number is 3.5 percent.  In Nova Scotia it is only .03 percent.

“Reliance on combustion-based transportation continues to drive spikes in greenhouse gas emissions, affecting our health and the environment,” explains Kelsey Lane, Sustainable Transportation Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre. “Nova Scotians are held back from making the switch to electric vehicles due to very low numbers of readily available stock and smaller consumer rebates than other regions in Canada.”

A white paper, released today by the Ecology Action Centre, and authored by Dunsky Energy Consulting, details the provincial landscape for electric vehicles and provides four key takeaways:


  • Current federal policy efforts will get Nova Scotia approximately halfway to the 30 percent federal target for 2030 zero emission vehicles by 2030, therefore joint provincial and federal efforts are required.
  • Wider adoption above the 30 percent target may remain limited due to lagging availability in regional electric vehicle supply.
  • Continued investment in public infrastructure for charging stations must accompany the increase of EVs on the road.
  • With provincial mandates and consumer incentives there is a potential for EV uptake in Nova Scotia beyond the federal target.


“Electric vehicle demand is not going to drive itself: government leadership and consumer education are also needed,” says Lane.

Dealerships in Nova Scotia are somewhat favourable to EVs, but on-lot stock is extremely limited. Generally, there is a six to eight month wait to purchase for most electric vehicles. Nova Scotia does not currently have a consumer rebate program, which has helped support the adoption of EVs elsewhere. A $5000 federal rebate on EV and $2,500 on hybrids is in place. Several provinces, including British Columbia and Quebec provide additional rebates from $3000 to $8000 which are helping boost adoption rates.

“Would-be EV owners are convinced about the environmental and financial benefits of switching, but there are roadblocks with availability and price that can be resolved with provincial mandates,” comments Lane.

The average price of an electric vehicle is $50,000, compared to $35,000 for combustion vehicles. EV maintenance costs are $485 yearly compared to $1200 with combustion vehicles.  Savings on gas are estimated to be $1400 a year, based on an average of 15000 kilometers in mileage.

“Nova Scotia has committed to reducing its GHG emissions by 53% below 2005 levels by 2030. It’s clear the current business-as-usual approach to electric vehicles will leave us missing that mark, as well as Federal EV targets,” says Lane. “This whitepaper aims to engage decision makers, and all Nova Scotians, in the solutions required to pave the way for a clean transportation system.”

Read the full report here.



For media inquires:

Kelsey Lane
Sustainable Transportation Coordinator / Ecology Action Centre
902 266 5263



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