The Globe and Mail Future of Cities series showed how the pandemic might reshape Canada’s urban areas, probably for the better: fewer cars, more green space, a focus on community life, short travel times, the end with the obsession with single-family homes, among other goodies.
How does the electric vehicle (EV) fit into these scenarios? It shouldn’t, but it does.
The hype around EVs and their offspring, self-driving e-cars, is dazzling and relentless, and anyone who thinks they should not be part of the new urban mix is treated as a Luddite dotard with a romantic attachment to a convenient, but clapped-out and highly polluting, technology – the internal combustion engine.
By now, the arguments in favour of battery-powered cars are broadly accepted as gospel. EVs have zero-emissions (not exactly true, since batteries have to be recharged and most electricity still comes from fossil fuels), so their use will clean up city air, and who can be against air that is not toxic?
They are quiet and cheap to maintain, since they have far fewer moving parts than regular cars. And, for car nuts, they are rocket sleds, because they are capable of producing instant torque and lots of it.