Manitoba and Saskatchewan trail behind most of Canada when it comes to electric vehicle readiness, according to the Provincial and Territorial Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Scorecard.
The scorecard was created by Electric Mobility Canada, a non-profit organization that advocates for adopting EVs and other forms of zero-emission transportation.
Manitoba and Saskatchewan placed 12th and 11th out of all 13 provinces and territories. Only Nunavut scored lower.
The scorecard tracks the actions provinces and territories have taken toward facilitating EV adoption during the 2021–22 fiscal year and provides suggestions on what provincial and territorial governments can do better.
British Columbia came in first, scoring 80, putting it in what Electric Mobility Canada calls the “Global Leader” category, on par with countries like Norway and states like California.
Local, independent, in-depth.
Our Prairie stories.
Quebec was second with a score of 73, ranking it in the “Canadian Leader” category.
Yukon and Nova Scotia (36.5 points each), Prince Edward Island (34 points), and New Brunswick (27 points) came in third through sixth. All were placed in the “Building Momentum” category. (Canada’s national average of 29 points is also in this category).
Rounding out the scorecard in places seventh through 13th were: Newfoundland and Labrador (21 points), Ontario (19.5 points), Alberta (15.5 points), Northwest Territories (15 points), Saskatchewan (6.5 points), Manitoba (6 points) and Nunavut (2 points).
These seven provinces and territories are in the “Getting Started” category.
Each province and territory received scores out of 100 tallied across action areas such as ZEV adoption, infrastructure, strategy, regulation, education and government leadership.
Lithium mining on the Prairies. Will it be the next big boom or a bust? Environmental groups worry it will damage provincial parks.
While both provinces received low scores, they’ve laid some groundwork for ZEV adoption.
The scorecard recognized Manitoba generates almost all its electricity from hydropower, allowing EVs in the province to be charged without burning fossil fuels.
Manitoba has also made a funding commitment to help Winnipeg purchase 110 ZEVs for its transportation fleet.
Additionally, the government created the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Fund for non-profit and academic organizations, municipalities, and Indigenous communities.
Some recent grant recipients included:
- $80,000 for The Fort Whyte Foundation Inc. for the installation of six electric vehicle charging stations (and the development of bioswales for improved site drainage)
- $150,000 for the Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub for the expansion of the Bike Cycle Project
- $27,000 for the Rural Municipality of Cartier for installing two electric vehicle charging stations.
With support from the federal government, SaskPower provides funding of up to $200,000 for fast-charging projects that fill identified ZEV infrastructure gaps.
SmartCharge Saskatchewan, through SaskPower, collects data on driving and charging behaviours to determine the grid impacts of EVs.
SaskPower also committed to phasing out all conventional coal-fired power generation from the province by 2030 to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels.
What Manitoba and Saskatchewan can do better
According to the scorecard, Manitoba and Saskatchewan can do more to facilitate the adoption of ZEVs.
The province can set ZEV sales to match the federal government’s targets by having at least 20 per cent of light-duty vehicle sales be ZEVs by 2026, at least 60 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035.
The scorecard also suggests the province build on the leadership of the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association, plan a provincial EV charging network, and invest in it.
Manitoba could also offer provincial ZEV purchase incentives, which could be offset by a “feebate system” where the government collects fees elsewhere to fund the program.
And the province could set government ZEV fleet procurement targets.
The ZEV scorecard report suggests Saskatchewan should have a ZEV purchase incentive program that includes off-road vehicles.
Current online public education offered by SaskPower could be expanded to include in-person outreach that gives the general public opportunities to test drive ZEVs.
The scorecard recommends the provincial government bring together Saskatchewan utilities, municipalities and ZEV network providers to plan and coordinate the deployment of charging infrastructure.
Saskatchewan could start providing financial support to cities to transition their vehicle fleets to ZEVs, and the province could set its own ZEV procurement goals.
EV owners are “disproportionately wealthy, male, middle-aged, and living in detached homes in urban areas,” the scorecard report says, citing data from the International Council on Clean Transportation.
“The transition to low-carbon mobility must acknowledge, disrupt, and overcome decades of systemic racism and classism that have created inequitable transportation policies, systems, and infrastructure in Canada and North America. These society-wide trends have, to date, been largely replicated in ZEV policies,” the report reads.
According to the report, poor, racialized, Indigenous, rural and remote populations are missing out on the economic and environmental benefits of electricity-fuelled mobility options.
Our Prairie stories matter too.
The Flatlander takes a closer look at the stories that unite us, and make us unique, in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Will you help us tell our stories?