Canada·Forum recap

Is it finally time for the electric car?

Tesla Motors gave a sneak preview of its Model 3 sedan on Thursday, with CEO Elon Musk saying the vehicle will go into production in 2017 at a starting price of $35,000 US. Do you think the time is now right for the rise of the electric car?
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk speaks at the unveiling of the Model 3 at the company's design studio Thursday in Hawthorne, Calif. (Justin Prichard/The Associated Press)

Tesla Motors gave a sneak preview of its Model 3 sedan on Thursday, with CEO Elon Musk saying the vehicle will go into production in 2017 at a starting price of $35,000 US.

"It's very important to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport," said Musk. "This is really important for the future of the world."

The Model 3 has the same large touchscreen dashboard as previous Tesla models. It also has Tesla's suite of semi-autonomous driving features, including automatic lane changing and lane keeping.

Musk said it will accelerate from zero to 60 in less than six seconds, and will go at least 345 kilometres on an electric charge.

Tesla's Model 3 and others in the new generation of electric vehicles from manufacturers such as GM and Nissan face challenges from low gasoline prices, high battery costs and uncertain investment in recharging infrastructure.

Do you think the time is now right for the rise of the electric car? Here's how the conversation went: 

The fans of electric vehicles were well represented in the Forum

"What do you mean is it time for the electric car? I have been driving my Nissan Leaf for a year now and they go back to 2012 or 2011? It's not a question of if it is time. It is wake up everyone and get on board! I love my leaf. Drove it all winter in Newfoundland! Works perfect!" — mpower17 

"Absolutely. Tesla has proven over and over again that electric cars can not only be good environmentally but can outperform gas cars in the same category while being practical and stylish. With this new Tesla plus more traditional competitors with similar (350+ km) range, like the Chevy Bolt, this is now the time for affordable electric cars to gain a significant foothold." — Sean Hart 

"Yes, it is time for the EV. India very recently announced that they want to be 100 per cent EV in 2030; the Netherlands just announced that they are aiming for 100 per cent new sales of EVs in 2025. Of course it is far better if those EVs are charged with non-fossil fuel electricity sources. Even if gasoline prices are relatively low now, we know they won't stay this low, and it is relatively cheap to charge an EV at night." — EOttawa

"Electric cars are the solution to massive energy storage needed for wind and solar. Connected cars will be able to inject power to the grid making sure there is enough charge for user's needs." — Michel 

Many remained skeptical about the practicality 

"Based on the car shows I watch from Europe I think that electric cars make a huge amount of sense there, for the same reason that they have always emphasized handling over power. In Canada though, I just don't see it. You cannot have an electric as your only car unless you never plan to leave your home town." — nintendoeats

"Outside of Canada's biggest cities these cars still seem fairly useless. Range of around 400 km and two hours to get half a charge? They still got an incredibly long way to go for me to consider one." — jjbow

"It's time for them to slightly increase their niche maybe. I'd like to see someone do a serious examination of the environmental impact of these cars though. I mean if we are looking for solutions to commuting we already have a better option in public transit. It is much more responsible and already cheaply available." — MY MILKSHAKE 

"Agree that the range limitation favours a hybrid design (for now) but battery technology will continue to improve. For the large urban centres like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal the current range is workable. My home has a 220v 50A plug in the garage ready to plug into, just have to get an EV now. Gasoline prices are low but this will not last and the prices are already rising." — beletuen 

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