Fresh Takes

Taxi importer E-Taxi is seeking $16,000 per vehicle in Quebec taxpayer money

List price on the BYD e6 E-Taxi is importing from China is $63,000, so with taxpayer money it comes to $47,000. For comparison, list for a Prius base trim is $22,200.

What kinds of emissions savings do taxpayers get for their $16,000?

Climate Central tallied up emissions for electrics vs hybrids, using the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, and concluded that at 161,000 kilometers lifespan the two are nearly the same, while below 80,500 kilometers electrics actually have more emissions. The culprit is the batteries — a single electric vehicle battery creates half as much emissions just to manufacture as all the fuel used in a Prius.

Because of these batteries, even assuming all the electricity used by electric taxis comes from Hydro-Québec, Climate Central’s calculations imply the Leaf still emits 70% as much lifetime emissions as a hybrid.

At these numbers, e-Taxi is requesting taxpayer subsidies on the order of $1,300 per ton of carbon saved, and total costs approaching $3,400 per ton. For comparison, certified offsets from Toronto-based CarbonZero, generally from planting trees, cost just $29 per ton.

Electric vehicles get the headlines but, at $63,000 and paltry carbon savings, they are not ready for prime-time. Quebec taxpayers deserve better.

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