Approaching Toronto on a typical Friday evening, Highway 401, the major artery connecting the Windsor-Detroit border with Canada’s largest city, is more often than not jammed. Pick-up trucks pulling campers or towing snowmobiles, SUVs crammed with tents or skis, and bumper-to-bumper tractor-trailers in the slowest lane of the world’s widest highway resembling a train. It’s enough to make an environmentalist weep.
Canada for years has danced around the global electric vehicle transition, touting its environmental importance while simultaneously propping up traditional auto manufacturing and defending its oil sands industry. But several recent developments suggest the shift to EVs is gaining traction. The combination of Joe Biden’s presidency in the United States, coupled with a Democratic-led Congress and pandemic-loosened purse strings in Canada, could jump-start the change — helped by a big boost from industry.