FORT ST. JOHN -- Criticisms are being raised about the ability to meet electricity demands as Ottawa mandates that all vehicles sold in Canada to be electric or hydrogen-powered by 2035.

Building the capacity in time to meet the strain EVs will place on our power grid is unrealistic, according to new research from the Fraser institute.

“Canadians need to know just how much additional electricity is going to be required in order to meet Ottawa’s electric vehicle mandate, because its impact on the provinces—and taxpayers and ratepayers—will be significant,” said Senior Fellow G. Cornelis van Kooten.

Kooten authored the study “Electric Vehicles and the Demand for Electricity.”

The study measured how much additional electricity will be required to charge electric vehicles once the sales mandates come into effect across Canada.

The study was focused on the country’s most populace provinces:  Ontario, B.C. and Quebec.

In it, Kooten says Canada’s power demand could increase by 15.3 per cent.

To generate enough electricity, 10 new hydro dams or 13 new gas plants capable of producing 1,100 megawatts of power would need to be built.

Dams capable of producing that kind of power are comparable to Site C, southwest of Fort St. John, which took 10 years of planning, $16 billion dollars, and another 10 years of construction to finish.

“Requiring all new vehicle sales in Canada to be electric in just 11 years means the provinces need to substantially increase their power generation capabilities-- in such a short timeline isn’t realistic or feasible,” said Kooten.

In British Columbia, 18 per cent of all vechicles sold in the last quarter of 2022 were electric.  

As of January 2024, there are 230,000 electric vechicles being driven on B.C. roads.