The number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads of Newfoundland and Labrador is steadily increasing, with the province experiencing a 74% surge in EV registrations in 2023. According to updated figures from the provincial government, 526 new electric vehicles were registered last year, bringing the total to 1,241. The growth in EV numbers aligns with a broader trend, with 398 new EVs registered in 2022, effectively doubling the existing count. Additionally, the province has seen a 26% increase in hybrid vehicles using an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Current statistics show 2,722 registered hybrid vehicles in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Drive Electric N.L., a non-profit organization co-founder, Jon Seary, expressed optimism about the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, noting that the trends align with expectations for technology adoption.
Seary highlighted the growing availability of electric cars in dealerships, making them more accessible to consumers. He anticipates further growth in EV adoption as availability and affordability improve. Although the province needs to catch up to other regions in EV adoption, Newfoundland Power estimates that there could be between 100,000 and 200,000 EVs on the province’s roads by 2040, creating concerns about the electricity supply.
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is actively monitoring the evolving electricity system needs arising from electrification. The utility reported record usage of its 23 public fast-charging sites in 2023, with over 13,000 charging sessions providing almost 330 MWh of energy.
While public charging represents approximately 10% of the energy used by EVs in the province, concerns about supply have been addressed by Jon Seary. He emphasized the flexibility of charging times, allowing EV owners to choose periods of lower power demand, such as overnight charging.
Newfoundland Power is also initiating a pilot project to effectively manage the increased demand for electric vehicles. Seary highlighted that many new EV owners are attracted to the cost savings and reduced carbon footprint associated with electric driving.