Posted by sass | Posted in Climate Change, Electric Vehicles | Posted on 25-04-2015
There is a drive in Quebec (pun intended) for a zero emissions law which would force car makers, much like in 11 states in the US, to sell a minimum number of electric vehicles as a percentage of sales in order to help reduce carbon emissions caused by transportation.
This proposed law penalizes car companies that don’t meet the standard. I happen to feel that an incentive approach would work better for the following reasons:
1. Consequence-based action is only OK in the void of alternatives which incent positive behavior.
2. We can rally car dealers, salespeople and car buyers to be on the same team with the right financial and other incentives (car pool lane, lower registration costs).
3. The majority of Quebecois (and Canadians) don’t believe we have an environmental problem.
To me the critical point is the last one. “Fix a pain point” is the term used by venture capitalists when urging entrepreneurs where to look for something worth investing in. The fact that we don’t feel the pain here is a major deterrent to politicians getting behind a zero-carbon initiative which penalizes participants who don’t reach a certain threshold. Given this reality, my belief is that if we incent car salespeople by a fixed commission bonus per EV they sell, car dealers with a fixed margin bonus per EV that rolls off their lot, and consumers with a variety of incentives being financial and other, we can be far more effective in achieving the same goal.
There are many lobbies that will fight a zero-emissions law which penalizes, namely: car makers, big oil, etc. We can get rid of their objections by focusing on positive change and consequence to changes in behavior.
While the end goal remains the same, we may simply differ on how we believe it can be achieved. As for me, I’m glad to report I’ve finally taken the Electric Vehicle dive and plan to recharge it using solar energy on the roof of my next home this summer….