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Putting electric cars to the test. Are we ready for 2035? (Marketplace)

Apr 17, 2024
The market is going

electric

. A light came on that said, "Check EV system." And I started thinking, "Well, the whole car is

electric

. What is that?" Hit the road and

test

the autonomy. The battery is charged. Let's see how far we can go. Are electric vehicles right for you? We have a line of

cars

waiting for a charge. Or will the challenges of charging change your mind? "Please unplug it." This is ridiculous. Are you happy with how fast we're moving? Consumers don't. I want us to move faster, of course. This is your Market. ♪ We are in an electric car on the way to Ottawa.
putting electric cars to the test are we ready for 2035 marketplace
It's fast, elegant and with the la

test

technology. But inside the cabin, the anxiety is real. Then there is another warning. "Stay below 105 km/h to reach your destination." Range, the distance you can go on a single charge, is a big issue for EV drivers. And you tell us that your

cars

sometimes fall short. Winter mileage decreases considerably. He drives slowly and we can't turn on the heating because then our kilometers will disappear like that. Electric vehicles are here. And eventually, we are all expected to make the change. Now the feds are doubling down on their plan to make all new car and truck sales zero emissions by

2035

.
putting electric cars to the test are we ready for 2035 marketplace

More Interesting Facts About,

putting electric cars to the test are we ready for 2035 marketplace...

So we're taking on autonomy, charging and repair to see if we're on the path to an all-electric future. Let's start with the scope. We're going on a winter road trip to see how far we can travel on a single charge. Range is central to the automaker's pitch, and the number is based on standard tests that combine simulated city and highway driving. But there is no specific range information for cold. For our test, we chose the most affordable model from the biggest name in electric vehicles, the Tesla Model 3. Fully charged, the range of our car today is 425 kilometers.
putting electric cars to the test are we ready for 2035 marketplace
Well, then let's mark our destination. And we choose a route. This Tesla Supercharger in Pickering, Ontario, to the CBC building in Ottawa. That distance of 410 kilometers is within our reach. Okay, the battery is charged, let's see how far we can go. Right off the bat, they tell us that we won't make it. But just a few minutes later, things change. Then there is a warning on the screen that says: "Keep below 100 km/h to reach the destination." But on a highway, really? So we continue to see what happens. While our Tesla moves forward, let's move on to our second test.
putting electric cars to the test are we ready for 2035 marketplace
Charging. We're reviewing fast charging stations from leading brands Flo, ChargePoint, Ivy and Petro Canada, visiting three each. But first we visit the Tesla network. Experts say it is the largest and one of the best. There is no problem with the charging station. Everything is alright. But even this network has its moments. So what are the chances of us being here today? There's a tech here from Tesla working on a couple of pumps. Then he says that they're not actually broken, but to diagnose the problem, he has to turn them off. So you can't charge while he's working on them.
We have a line here of cars waiting for a charge. So now there are four cars in line that have shown up waiting for a charge since we got here. Out of order chargers are a common complaint, so we want to see if the ones we visit actually work and if we run into any other problems along the way. It's loading. We only visit places that companies say are working. At this Flo location. Ah, here it goes. So it's working. Is working. We are loading. And in this machine Ivy. We are charging. did you hear a click?
But not all visits go without problems. But am I doing something wrong? Multiple failures are needed with the Petro Canada app. Well, we're in. What am I doing wrong? Okay, go. Before trying a different machine using a credit card. And then success. Oh really? But we're not so lucky at this ChargePoint location. Come on. No, nothing. The application does not start the charging session. Not going. Marianne Abella and her family know all about loading challenges. They experienced them while taking their week-old Nissan Leaf on their first road trip. So we were very excited. My daughter was very excited to sleep in a tent for the first time.
Still new to the world of electric vehicles, she and her husband Google a route that includes fast chargers. We thought, "Okay, there's one, there's one, there's one. And what could go wrong?" Like most EV drivers, they typically charge at home with a level two charger. It's cheap, but it takes hours. While traveling, level three, or fast charging, will recharge you quickly. -The problem is... -The fast charger was disabled. They can't find one that works. We try to connect our vehicle and an error message appears. After four stops, they're desperate for a charge and make a tough decision when faced with a slow charger.
So I told my husband, we're going to have to sleep in the car because it's going to take us seven hours to charge it. Marianne and her daughter head to a hotel. It took us all day trying to find a charger and we finally gave up a night of camping to stay in a hotel room, you know, the kind of hotel where people live there or can, you know, pay by the hour. I can't imagine that with a young daughter this is an ideal situation. Yeah, it really wasn't, so... it was clear we weren't going to get anywhere.
We return with our load test. This Ivy machine works. Charging. Well. This Petro Canada station also looks promising. But it runs out before the session starts. We shared our results with George Iny of the Automobile Protection Association. If he is implementing electric charging infrastructure, he must do it to match convenience and ease... Okay. ...of gasoline: "charging" infrastructure. -Sure. In total, we visited 12 places. At seven, we have challenges with charging, including two places where we can't charge. You should be very far from finding fault. -Well. -I mean, we expect, you know, that if you're making a cell phone call or pumping gas, you expect, I don't know, reliability over 99.9.
Now, when it comes to costs, prices are all over the place. Some say per minute, others say per hour, and the energy output can differ as well. But only one place we visited bills by something called a kilowatt hour. That's the equivalent charge per liter for gasoline-powered cars. Experts and many EV drivers agree and say this should be the standard across the board. It ensures you pay for the power you get, not the time it takes to charge. To get a better idea of ​​what you pay when you charge, we checked prices at all four companies for a kilowatt hour comparison.
So we're going to charge this car for 20 minutes and see how much charge we get when we're done. We start our charge with 20 percent battery. Let's see how far we get. We do the math for the places we visit. On ChargePoint, it costs about $0.25 per kilowatt hour and on Flo, $0.42. At both Ivy and Petro Canada, it costs $0.50 per kilowatt hour. Our final bills range from $5.20 to $10.09. Brands don't always set prices, but you could be paying up to twice as much for the same charge, depending on where you go. We shared our findings with the four companies.
ChargePoint says they've fixed some of the issues we've raised and that independent owners set the prices. Flo adds that the same thing often happens at their stations, too, and that their machines run more than 98 percent of the time. Ivy says they are an early adopter of kilowatt hour pricing and are committed to improving their processes. And Petro Canada says they are working to meet customer needs and offer competitive pricing in each province. We're back with our cold weather range test. We're almost halfway through our journey, but here's the thing. Our car tells us that we do not have enough range left to travel the distance we still have to travel.
But we are not going to give up just yet. Running out of path. I'm very nervous because we're not going to make it. When we returned, we asked who exactly is in charge? We visited 12 places. We had difficulty loading at seven. It's still an emerging sector, so of course there will be problems. Get more market. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at cbc.ca/

marketplace

. This is your market. We're going electric. Analyzing the cars of your future and the challenges you face today. With range... Now you can see that the car tells us that we will get where we are going with two percent battery.
And loading. It took us all day trying to find a charger. We're heading to Ottawa to see how far we can go on a single charge in cold weather. Okay, this just appeared on our screen. It is a low battery warning. It says: "There will be much less power available from the battery if it gets colder - we recommend charging now." So we're not going to make it. We only have 77 kilometers of autonomy left in the vehicle, and we have 129 kilometers left to travel on our trip. We're not going to make it to Ottawa. It's no surprise to George Iny, who doesn't believe the range estimates promoted by automakers.
We'd like to see something called effective range that takes into account the technical limitations of batteries and the reality that what really matters is highway range and not combined range. He and other experts are also calling for more transparency when it comes to winter driving. Well, a cold weather range would be useful, but extreme cold, say -20 standardized with a test cycle that would consider loss of range because the batteries can't... -Sure. -...it works optimally and you are also heating the cabin. Batteries do not perform as well in cold climates. Research has found that the range can be reduced almost by half.
Tesla also warns that cold weather can increase energy consumption. So we end our range test here, about 70 percent of the way there. When we share the results of our autonomy tests with Tesla, they do not comment. Once again, charging to get home doesn't work as well. So we tried charging the car twice and both times it failed. The upload failed. This is the third time it has failed. We hit a Tesla Supercharger to get back on the road. Now it's time to tackle electric vehicle repair. I don't get an update unless I go in and ask.
Meet Chad Barnes. In September 2022, he is heading to work when he receives a warning from his Hyundai IONIQ. A light came on that said, "Check EV system." And I started thinking, "Well, the whole car is electric. So what is that?" After work, he heads to the dealership. They can't understand it and his car has to stay. So I went home for the weekend and didn't hear anything until probably the middle of the next week. And they called me and said Hyundai Hi Tech said, "Yes, you need a new battery." A new battery? A new battery. The battery is basically the soul of the vehicle. -The battery is the car. -Fast forward... we have al

ready

spent more than a year. -Where are the things? -About the same.
Uh, so I contact the dealership regularly and they keep giving me a new date on when it's supposed to be here. So what is going on? It seems like nothing to me. -With the car stopped there. -The car is stopped, yes. They give him rent, but it still costs him. I'm

putting

gas in it because the car I rented is a car that runs on gas. Wait. You have an electric vehicle so you can save money on gasoline. It's been in the store for over a year. And you've been paying for gas all that time? Yes.
Is that on you? That's on me. To be clear, you have been in regular contact with the dealership, but he has contacted Hyundai Canada. Have they given you an official answer about what is happening? No, nothing? -Nothing. They told me I should talk to the dealer. I don't envy the manufacturers. Mechanic Emily Chung says parts supply is just one of the repair issues causing headaches for EV owners. I know you're having issues with your supply chain, and I think that speaks to the whole issue: supply and demand, right? -Good. You don't have many of these pieces.
There aren't many of them made on the aftermarket either. Her biggest concern, she says, is that automakers don't share enough information. The really challenging thing is that each manufacturer can do it differently. There's no standardized thing like, "This is how we're going to design this electric vehicle." Often, right now we don't have a lot of information available to us in terms of how the system works or, you know, what the information is that I'm actually looking for. She is not the only one sounding the alarm. There is a bill thatdemands more access before the House of Commons.
Number one, we won't know how to fix it. Number two, we won't be able to train our technicians to repair them either. So if you don't have as many suppliers, your cost will naturally increase. Then the consumer will have to pay more. 100 percent. And does it seem fair to you that you have to take your electric vehicle to a dealership? I will ask you this, I am an authorized technician. Is it fair for me to take my vehicle, as a licensed technician, to another shop to have it repaired by another licensed technician? It's incredible to me that I need to do that.
We reached out to two industry groups representing manufacturers. Both the Global Automobile Manufacturers of Canada and the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association say there is a voluntary agreement to share information and that mechanics have what they need to make repairs. Back with Chad. We're at the Hyundai dealership to get an update on his car. Chad, you just came in. Tell me which one is the last one. The last thing is that the battery has arrived and they have installed it in the car. -Do you have a battery? -I have a battery. But he can't take his car home yet.
So now they are waiting for that to arrive, a new coolant heater. Do you even want this car back? I'm not sure I want the car back. I want to make sure the car is 100 percent. And those gas receipts from your rentals. I'm going to keep them and at some point I hope someone compensates me for them. I bought the electric car for one reason and, you know, I spent 15 months

putting

gas in another one. We contacted Hyundai Canada about Chad's case. They referenced supply chain issues, but acknowledged that Chad should have received a new battery sooner.
And they're working to ensure he's happy with next steps, including covering his gas bills. Are we putting the proverbial cart before the horse here? Do we need to have the necessary infrastructure in place before we can all drive these cars? Public charging would be needed at a reasonable price, widely available, and with technology from

2035

, not today. Charging infrastructure is currently a weak link if 100 percent adoption is wanted. The feds want us all to drive electric vehicles. But is there a realistic plan to get us there? It's time we asked Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault. So we visited 12 places.
We had difficulty loading at seven. We have to work hand in hand with provinces and territories and/or companies, public services, implementing charging stations to ensure that we not only have charging stations, but that they are working. But do you think that's really working right now based on the issues we're finding and what other people are reporting? Your sample is very small. But there are problems. There are problems and we are working to address them. But what does that say about how well the system is working for Canadians? In general, electric vehicle users are very, very happy.
It's still an emerging sector, so of course there will be problems and things we need to make sure are done better. And when it comes to pricing... Why not have a consistent way of billing so people can compare prices and also have some transparency? Well, I think transparency is key, without a doubt. And... and those... those systems are known. And hopefully, and I think it's possible, we'll end up agreeing that we should all use the same system across the country. Using a kilowatt hour system would be the best and most efficient system. We also asked about adding information on the cold weather range so consumers can make a more informed decision.
And I'm sure you'll agree that cold weather takes a toll on these cars. It is widely accepted. The impact on the battery, the impact of the cold, is much less now than it was four years ago. There is still an impact. Absolutely. Well, why not help everyone? Post a cold weather range on vehicles with those EnerGuide stickers when people are shopping for a car. Wouldn't that help people make a more informed decision? Um... It's not something... This is the first time I've heard of this. I would certainly speak to the minister and responsible ministry to get their views on the feasibility and what the advantages of doing so would be.
But are you happy with how fast we're moving? Because consumers don't. We're... I want us to move faster, of course. We will also be attentive to the road ahead. ♪

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