Shocking Truth: The Dark Side of Owning an Electric Vehicle in Alberta – Why EV Owners Are Facing Unexpected Obstacles!

Why EV’s Won’t Work In Alberta

As you may have heard, the Liberal government in all their wisdom has decided that all cars sold in Canada by 2035 have to be electric.

Most people realize that this is going to be a no win situation for consumers based on availability of electricity. In this post, we are looking at the feasibility of using solar to power an electric vehicle.

First off in Alberta, our peak demand for electricity is 12.2 MegaWatts, which is down from 13 MegaWatts in 2015. This is thanks for Racheal Notley trying to appease the Liberal government by getting rid of coal fired electricity generation.  This represents a 6.6% decrease in electricity supply.

Second, the population of Alberta has grown from 4.14M people in 2015 to 4.7M people in 2023, or a 13.5% increase in population. Just between these 2 items, the demand for electricity is probably 20% higher than what the supply is.

Third, as electricity generation has been constrained over the last few years, the cost of electricity has increased.  Since October 2020, the floating rate, known as the Regulated Rate Option, has increased from $0.062/kWh up to $0.196/kWh or an increase of 216% over 3 years.  The fixed contract rate went from $0.063/kWh up to $0.122/kWh or an increase of 94%.

As you can see, the demand for electricity is rising and the supply of electricity is not, which is having an impact on the price of electricity. In addition to this, any new supplies of electricity won’t keep up with the demand.

Now comes the crazy part, what will it take to charge an electric vehicle (EV).  Since we are in Alberta and people love their trucks, I will use an example of a Ford 150 Lighting truck.  The battery capacity is 100kWh. 

Here is the different parts of a solar system that you will need in order to charge the truck.  

  • 72 solar panels
  • Two 40 kWh solar inverters
  • Twelve 10 kWh battery packs

The approximate cost for this solar system set up is $124,000.  You read that correctly.

This cost is in addition to the cost of the vehicle, which would probably set you back a few dollars.  According to a search online, the F150 Lightning is priced between $60,000 and $113,000, so an average is $86,500.

So now you would be all in at $210,500.  

The average salary in Alberta is $50,630 according to ZipRecruiter which means that even if you were not to pay any tax it would take just over 4 years to pay for just the infrastructure and the car. This doesn’t even include the cost of charging the car.

One last thing that you need to take into consideration, solar panels are 3 feet by 5 feet or 15 ft2.  You will need a minimum of 1,080 ft2 just for solar panels.  When you look online, the results I found show that the average roof size for a house in Canada is 2,000 ft2, but based on the position of the roof, you may only be able to use up to 50% of the roof.  So based on this, you probably won’t be able to put enough solar panels on your roof to power your electric vehicle.

So in summary, there are several factors going against anyone who is looking at getting an EV. They are as follows:

  • Electricity availability 
  • Infrastructure costs
  • Space constraints on solar panels

There are other constraints and problems, but these alone are enough to question the sanity of the Liberal Government’s desire to go all electric by 2035.

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