Danielle Smith believes in a bright future for zero-emission vehicles, of the sort that virtually no one uses in Alberta today.
Not only is she confident that Alberta will embrace the hydrogen car, she also told her Your Province, Your Premier call-in show audience that she wants the next vehicle she purchases to be one, too.
Sure, there are nearly 9,000 electric vehicles on Alberta roads, and hundreds of charging stations. Ahead of Ottawa's 2035 ban on selling new petroleum-powered vehicles, Smith wants a different ride to net zero.
"I think our solution for zero-emission vehicles is hydrogen — and they're already here," she said on the radio.
Smith has embedded this enthusiasm into government action, mandating her Service Alberta minister to pursue a network of hydrogen fuelling stations across the province, up from the zero publicly available now. The province is commissioning an analysis into the potential conversion of all or part of the government's 3,400-vehicle fleet to hydrogen — from sheriffs' cruisers to Alberta Forestry and Parks ranger trucks.
Alberta might even try woo Toyota or Hyundai "to come to our province to build a car manufacturing plant," said Smith, premier of a province thousands of kilometres from anything even faintly resembling an auto industry.
What fuels his rationale? This assertion: "Our electricity grid can only support one car every 14 homes."
This statement, Nally's office later explained, is based on 2019 research done for Epcor, the Edmonton power company. It expressed concern that even one or two EVs charging on the same street at the same time in early evenings "could be enough to overload the distribution transformer." (That's those suburban green boxes or power-pole devices that moderate voltage for home use.)
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 17 September 2023 - 05:29 AM.