Electric vehicles: Manitoba drivers facing long delays for electric vehicles

Coming to the pumps these days, Trinity Janitorial owner Phil Payjack is preparing to feel the pressure.

At over $2 a litre, the cost of filling the 120-litre tank in his 2021 Ford F-150 is now costing him over $200.

“I average over $1,000 a month on fuel,” Payjack said. “So to switch to an EV (electric vehicle), I think that makes sense.”

An electric version of the vehicle was not available when he purchased the truck he needs to haul his business equipment and supplies.

But given the price of gas, he wants to give up his gas mileage for a battery-powered vehicle.

The problem is that he can’t have one.

He was told that Ford was not accepting new orders on its all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning truck at this time and that once it was on a waiting list, it could be 2024 before the truck was delivered. a new vehicle.

“I was really surprised, but the second thing that came to mind was how much more fuel I will spend over the next two years waiting for the possibility of getting this electric vehicle,” said declared Payjack.

The Manitoba Motor Dealers Association acknowledges options are limited when buying electric or gas-powered vehicles, blaming a shortage of critical parts including semiconductor chips and COVID-related manufacturing delays.

According to Statistics Canada, there were only 356 new electric vehicles registered in Manitoba last year, compared to more than 42,000 gas-powered cars.

For its part, Ford of Canada said the F-150 Lightnings are currently on their way to customers across North America.

“With nearly 200,000 reservations, Ford announced plans in January to nearly double production capacity of the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup to 150,000 vehicles per year at Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Mich. to meet growing customer demand. the company said in a statement.

But it’s not just electric vehicles.

Robb Massey, owner of Olympia Cycle and Ski on Portage Avenue, said e-bikes and more traditional pedal bikes remain in high demand.

“We all look at our budgets and realize: the price of groceries is going up, the price of getting our goods here is going up, the price of getting things going is going up,” Massey said, noting that many many people are trying to figure out how using a bicycle could help reduce their cost of living.

Although the store has a good selection of new bikes, Massey said you might already have one that could meet your commuting needs with a few tweaks or upgrades.

“Chances are if you like the bike you’re on, we can help you like it,” Massey said.

Payjack agrees with the push for more sustainable modes of transportation, but finds it frustrating to be hit with the federal carbon tax and provincial gas tax until he can get the vehicle electric he wants.

He thinks pausing some taxes, something Alberta has done, would help give consumers who want to make a change a break.

“Maybe that’s something we can consider doing here too,” Payjack said. “I don’t know. I’m just the janitor, but I’m definitely feeling the pressure at the pumps.”

Manitoba has already declared that it does not intend to suspend the provincial gasoline tax.

While there are no specific incentives for buying electric vehicles in Manitoba like there are in British Columbia and Quebec, a provincial spokesperson pointed out that Manitoba’s low electricity rates were a form of incentive to go electric, as they make electric vehicles inexpensive to charge.

There is a federal rebate of up to $5,000 on the purchase of a zero-emission vehicle.

Transport Canada said it has helped Canadians buy or lease 144,000 new zero-emission vehicles since 2019.

Ottawa did not comment on helping drivers amid electric vehicle shortages, but said increasing the availability of zero-emission vehicles is a key part of its 2030 emissions reduction plan.

“The Government of Canada will continue to pursue a combination of support measures and regulations to stimulate both supply and demand for zero-emission vehicles across Canada,” Transport Canada said in an emailed statement. “In particular, the Government of Canada will implement a regulated zero-emission vehicle sales mandate that by 2035, 100% of new light-duty vehicle sales must be zero-emission, with interim requirements of at least 20% by 2026. and at least 60% by 2030.”

The federal government said it is committed to supporting the auto industry to increase electric vehicle production with investments of $295 million for battery electric vehicle production at Ford in Oakville, Ontario. an assembly plant and $259 million to General Motors of Canada to support the transformation of an assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. to a full-scale electric vehicle production facility.

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