Prince Edward Islanders are more and more turning to heavier automobiles, and that is a priority for the Island’s Inexperienced Social gathering.
The most recent Statistics Canada report on car gross sales reveals from January to November of 2019, 72 per cent of latest automobiles bought on the Island fell within the truck class, which incorporates SUVs, minivans, and pickup vehicles. That is up from 65 per cent simply three years earlier, with a gentle development upward.
That is the equal of fewer than two vehicles for each automobile in 2016, to greater than 2.5 vehicles for each automobile in 2019.
“Authorities coverage has a direct impact on these buy choices,” mentioned Opposition transportation and power critic Steve Howard.
“Right here on P.E.I., we have got a leftover Liberal carbon-pricing coverage that incentivizes, reductions, the value of gas. So it is only a additional indication of that failed coverage.”
Howard is referring to the renewal of a coverage by the Progressive Conservative authorities that for the final two years lowered the excise tax on gasoline on Jan. 1, successfully offsetting the carbon levy over the winter months.
Reductions in transportation emissions are central to P.E.I.’s carbon discount plan, as a result of that sector accounts for 47 per cent of carbon emissions on the Island.
Howard mentioned a more practical carbon levy can be a solution to nudge individuals towards completely different choices.
“We should always positively be pushing individuals towards contemplating their carbon footprint once they buy one thing,” he mentioned.
“The correct value signalling must be on the market: whether or not that is in direction of a extra environment friendly car or whether or not that is in direction of carpooling or whether or not that is in direction of electrical automobiles or whether or not that is in direction of a public push in direction of higher public transit. All of these issues get affected when now we have correct carbon pricing in place.”
A global development
P.E.I. is just not alone in its rising style for vehicles.
It is a development that may be seen throughout Canada and in the USA, mentioned Werner Antweiler, an economist at UBC.
“The most well-liked automobiles as we speak are literally the category of SUVs and crossovers which might be greater and heavier than what individuals used to personal,” mentioned Antweiler.
“That sadly has penalties too, on the gas economic system of those automobiles, as a result of shifting extra weight means utilizing extra gas.”
Vans have gotten extra gas environment friendly, however that very same expertise can also be making the smaller automobiles that persons are turning away from extra environment friendly.
Jason Peters, who sells vehicles and vehicles for Dependable Motors in Charlottetown, mentioned there are a selection of issues about vehicles that individuals discover engaging.
They just like the passenger house, the notion of improved security in a crash, and the power to haul issues. Peters mentioned he’s listening to about carbon emissions from clients shopping for vehicles, however they’re targeted on altering their driving habits. They’re being extra organized about their journeys, and making an attempt to make fewer of them.
Peters mentioned whereas there’s strain on producers to supply good gas economic system and electrical automobiles, he mentioned there are primary economics which might be working in opposition to the gross sales of electrical automobiles specifically. Whereas the automobiles are comparatively costly, there’s little or no revenue margin for the vendor.
“There must be extra partnership between authorities, producers and the infrastructure to essentially push that ahead,” he mentioned.
Gasoline value/gas effectivity linked
Once you evaluate the typical gasoline value in nations to the typical gasoline mileage of automobiles you may see a direct connection, mentioned Antweiler.
The cheaper the gasoline, the decrease the typical effectivity of the automobiles. Canada has a few of the most cost-effective gasoline within the developed world, and a few of the least environment friendly automobiles, Antweiler has discovered.
“Gasoline remains to be fairly low-cost, and so individuals do not feel the pinch,” he mentioned.
“Regardless that lots of people complain about it. However for those who take a look at worldwide comparisons, gasoline costs in Canada are literally on the low finish of the spectrum.”
In an emailed assertion to CBC Information, P.E.I.’s Transportation and Vitality Division mentioned emissions from transportation on the Island are a priority.
“We all know transportation greenhouse gasoline emissions have been on the rise and it is time to reverse that development,” the assertion mentioned.
It famous it has a sustainable transportation motion plan in place, and it’s working via a listing of 27 suggestions. Amongst these suggestions is main by instance, and the federal government is planning to buy extra electrical automobiles for its fleet.
Extra P.E.I. information