By Letter to the Editor on May 8, 2020.
Dale Johnson’s letter to the editor of April 3 was an interesting opinion on the fossil-fuel industry in Alberta and the world. However, many of his “facts” are only a further expression of opinion. He says that sales of electric vehicles are increasing “exponentially.” An example of exponential growth can be seen in the present COVID-19 pandemic. In some communities the virus has gone from a handful of cases to 500 or more in a few days.
Electric vehicles in North America have been available for nearly 10 years and yet, at the present time, their sales are less than two per cent of all vehicle sales. This is certainly not exponential growth. As a matter of fact, the sale of EVs are heavily dependent upon government subsidy (also known as taxpayer funded). Most of these subsidies have a limitation of either time or number of vehicles sold by the manufacturer. In 2015 in Norway, Tesla sold 2,738 EVs. In 2016 Norway phased out their subsidy and Tesla sales dropped to 176 the next year. Within the past year California phased out Tesla’s auto subsidy after which their sales dropped in that state by 46 per cent. I am only quoting Tesla because they are the recognized leader in EV sales.
It is true that North American sales of sedans has dropped dramatically. They have been replaced by SUVs and pickup trucks rather than EVs. It should be safe to say that since ICE vehicles are still being sold at a rate of nearly 20 million units per year, the fossil-fuel industry will be around for a long time.