Electric vehicles (EVs) are increasingly turning the heads of Canadian consumers and energy company executives, and new EY research shows that rapid adoption could mean as many as 13.2 million EVs on the road by 2030.

The EY report outlines how all EV adoption scenarios — rapid, moderate or slow — will have an important impact on Canadian Oil & Gas (O&G) and Power & Utilities (P&U) companies in the years ahead.

Already, Canada is the 10th fastest adopter of EVs in the world, with sales growing 165 percent year-over-year in 2018.

EY research finds that rapid adoption — with EVs representing 30% of Canada's vehicle stock, compared to less than 3% today — would reduce domestic oil consumption by roughly 252k barrels per day and could trigger convergence of O&G and P&U companies in the marketplace.

Rapid adoption could also cause an 11% spike in Canadian electricity demand, requiring utilities to make significant investments in existing grid infrastructure to allow consumers to charge cars at home and in public spaces. Distribution network upgrades would also be required to improve power transmission across the country, including to rural areas.

Availability of charging infrastructure, price premiums, battery performance, subsidies and time to complete the charge remain key barriers deterring Canadians from purchasing an EV. But even a moderate adoption scenario — with 6.5 million EVs on Canadian roads by 2030 — would require a 5.5% increase in electricity demand.

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