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Soaring gas prices spark Canadian interest in electric vehicles: analysts – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Sky-high gas prices are pushing electric vehicles (EVs) further into the spotlight as of late, as more drivers think seriously about going electric.

Marketing professional Ash Molaei is one those people.

“Gas prices are a big reason why I’m considering switching my relatively new sport utility vehicle for an electric one,” he said in an interview.

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The average gas price across Canada was $1.70 per litre Friday, according to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), up 38 per cent from a year ago. Some parts of the country have seen prices broach $2 per litre in recent weeks.

Sixty-one per cent of Canadians say rising gas prices and oil supply challenges have convinced them that it is time to buy an EV, according to a recent KPMG survey, with 51 per cent of respondents saying they will never buy a gas-powered vehicle again.

Meanwhile, six per cent of Canadians say they ordered an EV in the past month.

“My next vehicle will 100 per cent be electric,” Molaei said.

Joanna Kyriazis, program manager of clean transportation for Clean Energy Canada at Simon Fraser University, says EV drivers can insulate their wallets from geopolitically driven fossil fuel price swings such as what we’re seeing as a result of the war in Ukraine.

“Owning an EV means you never have to drive by the sign outside the gas station and worry about what price you might see,” she said in an interview.

“Fully charging a 413-kilometre range 2021 Chevy Bolt at home would cost $5 to $13, depending on which province you live in.”

Cost can still pose a deterrent. A new electric vehicle in Canada ranges between $32,000 and $160,000. At-home charging stations are an additional upfront payment and range from $300 to $700. When parts and labour are tacked on, that can add another $1,200 to $2,000.

Kyriazis says that prices are likely to come down, however. The price of batteries used to power EVs are already dropping due to factors including growing manufacturing capacity, higher demand for batteries from leading manufacturers and new battery cell and pack designs, according to a November 2021 report from strategic research provider BloombergNEF.

Kyriazis explains that even though the upfront costs are generally higher compared to conventional vehicles, EVs could be more cost-efficient in the longer term.

“It doesn’t take very long, sometimes just a year or two, before fuel savings make your EV cheaper than your gas car,” she said.

There are some additional incentives: there’s a federal rebate of up to $5,000 and a growing number of provinces and territories offer rebates as well.

In Ontario, where a previous rebate was later cancelled by Premier Doug Ford, the province and federal government announced millions in funding support for domestic hybrid car production last week but both Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dodged questions on the possibility of incentives to help Canadians buy them.

The steeper price tag does not worry Molaei. It is Canada’s lack of infrastructure for EVs that he is concerned about, like making it easier for people to charge their vehicles at home overnight.

He also likes to go on a lot of road trips, so the lack of charging stations in remote areas is something he is thinking about.

Cara Clairman, founder and CEO of Toronto-based Plug’n Drive, says we need to approach charging stations a little differently than we approach gas stations, and also ensure that we have banks of chargers, not just one thrown out in the middle of nowhere.

“We don’t need them everywhere,” she said in an interview. “We need to map out the places people would likely stop and want to eat or even shop during longer trips and put chargers there.”

Another hurdle is the lack of vehicles available and the length of time it will take for buyers to receive them – a year in many cases. Lingering supply chain issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic could keep wait times long.

With interest in EVs growing, automakers are increasingly choosing Canada to put their EV strategies into action. Honda Canada Inc. announced Wednesday that it would spend $1.38 billion over six years to upgrade its Alliston, Ont., plant to make electric hybrid vehicles. Earlier this month, General Motors Co. and South Korea’s Posco Chemical announced a deal to build a plant in Becancour, Que., to produce battery materials for EVs. GM is also preparing to launch Canada’s first full electric vehicle manufacturing plan in Ingersoll, Ont., later this year.

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Indian tycoon Adani hit by more losses, calls for probe

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NEW DELHI (AP) – Trading in shares in troubled Adani Enterprises gyrated Friday as the flagship company of India’s second-largest conglomerate tumbled 30% and then rebounded after more than a week of heavy losses that have cost it tens of billions of dollars in market value.

The debacle, which led Adani to cancel a share offering meant to raise $2.5 billion, has drawn calls for regulators to investigate after a U.S. short-selling firm, Hindenburg Research, issued a report claiming the group engages in market manipulation and other fraudulent practices. Adani denies the allegations.

Opposition lawmakers blocked Parliament proceedings for a second day Friday, chanting slogans and demanding a probe into the business dealings of coal tycoon Gautam Adani, who is said to enjoy close ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We have no connection″ with the Adani controversy, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters outside Parliament on Friday.

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In an interview with CNN News 18, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman brushed off concerns that the losses would spook global investors and said India’s financial market was “very well regulated.”

“As a result, the investors’ confidence which existed before shall continue even now,” she said, adding that the controversy wasn’t “indicative of how well Indian financial markets are governed.”

Amit Malviya, the governing Bharatiya Janata Party’s information and technology chief, said in a television interview that the opposition was using Adani’s crisis to target the Modi government over a private company’s shares and their market movements. “Regulators are looking into” what happened, he said.

The market watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, has not commented. The Economic Times newspaper reported, citing unnamed SEBI sources, that it had asked stock exchanges to check for any unusual activity in Adani stocks.

Shares in Adani Enterprises fell as much as 30%, to 1,017 rupees ($12), on Friday. At the end of trading, the price had recovered to 1,531 rupees ($18.70) but was still down by 2%. The company’s share price has plunged more than 50% since Hindenburg released its report last week, when it stood at 3,436 rupees ($41). Stock in six other Adani-listed companies were down 5% to 10% on Friday.

So far there has been no indication that the company’s woes might threaten the wider financial sector in India. Its equities market is large enough to sustain the fallout at this moment, said Brian Freitas, a New Zealand-based analyst with Periscope Analytics who has researched the Adani Group.

“Adani stock forms a small part of the equities market and investor concerns right now are restricted to the company, not the whole system or market itself,” Freitas said. India’s Nifty and Sensex indexes were both higher on Friday.

It could take time for problems to surface, Shilan Shah of Capital Economics said in a report. “From the macro perspective there are few signs of contagion,” he said. “But it is too early to sound the all clear.”

The S&P Dow Jones indices said Thursday it would remove Adani Enterprises from its sustainability indices beginning Tuesday, following a “media and stakeholder analysis triggered by allegations of stock manipulation and accounting fraud.”

That might dent the Adani Group’s sustainability credentials and could affect investor sentiment, Freitas said.

Adani, who made a vast fortune mining coal and trading before expanding into construction, power generation, manufacturing and media, was Asia’s richest man and the world’s third wealthiest before the troubles began with Hindenburg’s report.

By Friday, his net worth had halved to $61 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, where he dropped to the 21st spot worldwide.

He has said little publicly since the troubles began, though in a video address after Adani Enterprises canceled its already fully subscribed share offering he promised to repay investors. The company has said it is reviewing its fundraising plans.

Hindenburg’s report said it was betting against seven publicly listed Adani companies, judging them to have an “85% downside, purely on a fundamental basis owing to sky-high valuations.” Other issues in the report included concerns over debt, alleged use of offshore shell companies to artificially raise share prices and past investigations into fraud.

Adani’s speedy, debt-led expansion in recent years caused his net worth to shoot up nearly 2,000%. Even before last week, critics said his ascent was aided by his apparent close ties to Modi and his government. Analysts say he has been successful at aligning his priorities with those of the government by investing in key sectors, but point out that he also has major infrastructure projects in states that are ruled by opposition parties.

“The question now turns to the future of the Adani Group and how they will grow,” said Aveek Mitra, founder of Avekset Financial Advisory.

As a company heavily involved in infrastructure — from airports and ports to highways — it needs financing to grow in order to service its debt, which stands at $30 billion, out of which $9 billion is from Indian banks.

Adani may be able to sell some assets and continue its expansion, but at a much slower pace than earlier, Mitra said.

“Banks, financial institutions and investors will think five times before investing now,” he added.

Associated Press writer Ashok Sharma contributed to this report.

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Ottawa expands price caps to Russian petroleum products to reduce revenues

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OTTAWA — The federal Finance Department says Canada is joining its fellow G-7 countries plus Australia to expand caps on Russian oil to include seaborne petroleum products from that country.

The department says the maximum price for seaborne Russian-origin petroleum will be US $100 per barrel for “premium-to-crude” products as of Sunday, and US $45 for “discount-to-crude” products.

It says in a press release the new caps build on a Russian crude oil price limit announced in December, adding both moves will weaken President Vladimir Putin’s ability to fund the war against Ukraine.

The Department of Finance says the caps will be enforced by prohibiting buyers who do not abide by the price caps from obtaining services from companies in the G7 or Australia.

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It says the price cap mechanism has been designed to reduce Russian revenues while recognizing the importance of stable energy markets and minimizing negative economic effects.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says Russian oil revenues have already declined since the first price cap took effect and the additional price caps “will be another blow to Putin’s war chest.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2023.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

 

The Canadian Press

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Adani crisis ignites India contagion fears, credit warnings – Al Jazeera English

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  1. Adani crisis ignites India contagion fears, credit warnings  Al Jazeera English
  2. Indian tycoon Adani hit by more losses, calls for probe  CP24
  3. Adani Flagship Shelves $122 Million Bond Plan After Market Rout  BNN Bloomberg
  4. How Adani selloff stacks up against the biggest stock collapses  Deccan Herald
  5. Adani response to Hindenburg report: Embattled corporations invoking nationalism, or national sentiment, is not unheard of  The Indian Express
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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