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From oil to watts | The Press

(Sherwood Park, Alberta) Park Premium Auto and Leisure used car dealership in Sherwood Park, a neighboring suburb of Edmonton, has a surprising amount of inventory these days.

Posted at 5:00 a.m.

Snowmobiles, quads and large two-seater autoquads still occupy the majority of the floor. But through these fossil fuel-intensive machines, we see several electric or hybrid vehicles – a small BMW i5 here, a Nissan Leaf there, the boss’s Rivian in the courtyard.

“ [Le marché des véhicules de loisir], it’s still good, it’s just that I don’t want to do that for long,” explains Jean-Pierre Grenier, a native of Sherbrooke who has lived in Alberta for 25 years. What excites him now are used electric cars. In a year, he will only sell that, he predicts.

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Jean-Pierre Grenier

You come to a point in your life where you say to yourself: “It seems like I’m not doing anything for the planet.” My daughter is turning 20, I would like the world to be a beautiful place for her to live.

Jean-Pierre Grenier

The electric vehicle market is still embryonic in Alberta. Not only does the province not offer a tax credit for purchases, but it has also just imposed an annual tax of $200 (effective in 2025) to compensate for the taxes not collected on gasoline.

“I drive an electric car and half the world laughs at me when I arrive somewhere. My solar panels are the same thing,” explains Mr. Grenier.

He had the solar panels installed last summer on his house located in the village of Ardrossan. It’s about a dozen miles east of Sherwood Park, but with the app installed on his cell phone, it’s like he’s there.

Energy consumption of the residence, production of solar panels: everything is displayed in real time with graphic force. “There, it’s not sunny, so I produce almost nothing: 0.67 kilowatts, while my house uses 1.1 kW at the moment,” he shows us. But even at the beginning of April, “the last days when it was sunny, [il produisait] already 7.5 kW”!

Impact of the April 8 eclipse, performance in cold or cloudy weather: solar panel owners love sharing their screenshots on social media. This real-time data isn’t just fun. They encourage efficiency, testifies Mr. Grenier.

When you see exactly how much it consumes to leave eight lights on all day, you say to yourself: “OK, why am I wasting?”

Jean-Pierre Grenier

Charging the family’s electric vehicles is now done during sunny days, in order to use the energy generated free of charge by the solar panels. Machine wash and dry too. And to reduce the use of the dryer, he installed a clothesline. “I’ve never had one!” », underlines the forty-year-old. When his gas boiler (commonly called a “furnace”) reaches the end of its life, in a few years, he will undoubtedly opt for a heat pump.

“Once you open the door to one thing, it seems like another automatically comes.” If I have solar panels, why shouldn’t I have an electric car? You become more aware of these things,” notes Mr. Grenier.

“I’m just trying to do my part. That’s why I tell people: “Do what you can.” At some point, you’ll realize that maybe you can do a little more, and a little more. »



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