VW Leadership Forum: The Future of Mobility in Canada
What is the future of sustainable mobility in Canada?
This question formed the heart of the discussion at the recent VW Leadership Forum. Held at the 2019 Canadian International Autoshow, in Toronto, the forum brought together four of Canada’s thought leaders on the future of sustainable transportation.
The panel included VW Canada’s President and CEO, Daniel Weissland; Electrify Canada’s COO, Robert Barrosa; Jean-François Tremblay, President and CEO of Jalon Montreal – Institute for Electrification and Intelligent Transportation; and
Yvonne Rene de Cotret, Partner and Transportation/Future of Mobility Practice Lead at Deloitte.
The discussion was driven by the popular topics relevant to sustainable mobility and the shift toward electric vehicles. Cost, infrastructure and the overall environmental benefit to a gas-free future were discussed at length.
“Climate change is the biggest challenge of our times,” says Weissland, adding that he believes it’s our responsibility to find new ways to solve the problems created by emissions.
This is something VW itself is focused on. By 2025, Volkswagen Canada will offer a wide range of electric vehicles, in a range of styles including electric SUVs, crossovers, sedans and compacts.
To meet the growing demand for e-vehicles, Volkswagen Canada has partnered with Electrify Canada, to help build a network of electric car–charging infrastructure. Construction begins this year, with 32 locations set to be built near major highways and in metro areas throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
On the subject of cost, Weissland addressed the concern that electric vehicles are more expensive than traditional, fuel-combustion engines. While certainly true, he pointed out that the increased cost has much to do with the battery technology itself – something expected to come down as demand for e-cars grows, and with it, increased production. In other words, it’s just a matter of time.
Check out the highlight reel below.