Driving in the Next Decade

Happy New Year, PumpTalk Readers! Welcome to 2020! And not just a new year, but also a new decade. In lieu of resolutions this year, we thought we’d take a look at what the predictions are for driving trends for the next 10 years. We’ve selected our favourite five…take a read and see what you think.

Connected Vehicles

Self-Driving Cars
A lot of hype has surrounded the promise of self-driving cars. But it turns out that Canadians are not quite ready to embrace it wholeheartedly. A 2018 survey by Ipsos found that Canadians are split on whether their view of a self-driving car is positive (55%) or negative (45%). If given the choice between a self-driving car or a manual car at an equal cost, a strong majority (69%) would prefer to continue using the vehicle they personally drive. However, if offered a self-driving car that costs less to own and maintain than a car today, only 44% would still prefer to continue using their personal vehicle.

McKinsey predicts that roughly 15% of automobiles sold in 2030 could be fully autonomous.  And if consumers aren’t ready for their own personal self-driving car, a promising area for self-driving cars is the ride share industry. In the taxi and ride-share industry up to 60% of costs can be labour-related. Autonomous vehicles could go a long way to reducing those.

Task-Specific Vehicles
Generally speaking, whether we’re headed alone to work or driving our whole family up to the cottage, we use the same vehicle. However, with the growing urbanization of the population, increasing home delivery from services like Skip the Dishes or Amazon Prime and a discouragement of private vehicle use in dense urban environments like Vancouver and Toronto, choosing a vehicle tailored to the trip seems like a good idea.

This is the idea behind Mercedes Vision Urbanetic. The Urbanetic has modules that transform it from a ride-sharing vehicle to a delivery vehicle in five minutes. Check out the video below.

Shared Vehicles
Another trend pointing away from private vehicle ownership is an increase in the use of shared vehicles through services like ZipCar or Communauto or ride-hailing services like Lyft or Kater. McKinsey predicts that up to one out of ten new cars sold in 2030 may likely be a shared vehicle, which could reduce sales of private-use vehicles. This would mean that more than 30% of miles driven in new cars sold could be from shared mobility.

In-Car Health Monitors
In 2017, there were more than 1,800 road fatalities in Canada. More than 90% of crashes were caused by human error.  Self-driving cars or autonomous vehicles could help reduce that number. But until that technology is reliable and legislation is passed, another way to potential reduce fatalities is through in-car health monitoring. In addition to incorporating biometric identification systems into vehicles, manufacturers are taking the next step and investigating ways to monitor a driver’s heart rate and fatigue level, using sensors in seat belts and steering systems, and then warning drivers though in-car alarms.

V2X Communications
In addition to monitoring the well-being of the driver, vehicles equipped with various V2X technologies can monitor the environment around them. “V2X” communications or “vehicle-to-everything” communications includes:

  • Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) exchanges of information, such as position and speed data;
  • Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications, such as vehicles notifying authorities of deteriorating roadway conditions and receiving traffic condition information; and
  • Vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) communications, such as vehicles sensing pedestrian locations in relation to the vehicle and warning pedestrians to avoid collisions.

As infrastructure is upgraded and elements like road signs, road markings and camera networks allow for V2X communications, there is a potential for reduced traffic congestion and increased fuel efficiency as well as improvements to pedestrian safety.

And those are five of the trends we see affecting our driving habits over the next decade. What do you think driving will look like in 2030? We’d love to hear your thoughts – leave us a comment below!

~Rose R.


Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from PumpTalk

I can’t believe we’re already at the end of another year, let alone at the end of another decade. This is our last post of 2019. We’ll be taking a break and see you back here in early January.

But before we all disappear for the holiday season, we’d just like to say a couple of “thank yous” …

To our readers and commenters…thank you for making PumpTalk part of your week.

To the hundreds of Petro-Canada employees and associates who are working during the holidays to make sure that Canadians can get to what matters most to them. THANK YOU!

Across Canada, our stations are often one of the few places open over the holidays. So if you need a warming cup of coffee on a long drive or a last-minute stocking stuffer (gift cards or instant lottery are good choices), please stop in.

Wishing you and yours a relaxing holiday season and a peaceful New Year!

Road with Northern Lights


Building Canada’s Electric Highway: Completing Our Coast-To-Coast Network

This week we opened the westernmost stop on Canada’s Electric Highway™  - at 5498 Patricia Bay Highway, Victoria, BC – completing our coast-to-coast network of EV fast chargers. Sites located in small towns and big cities from the Rockies to the Maritimes are now available.

Victoria EV Launch
L to R: Patrick Ritchie, General Manager, Strategy, Downstream, Suncor; Mark Little, President & CEO, Suncor; Wilf Steimle, Chair & President, EV Society; Fred Haynes, Mayor of Saanich, BC

At the opening in Victoria, we heard from several individuals connected to this project.

First, Mark Little, President & CEO, Suncor shared Suncor’s new purpose – to provide trusted energy that enhances people’s lives while caring for each other and the earth.  And how this coast-to-coast network supports Suncor’s goal of being a sustainable energy provider.

Next, Fred Haynes, Mayor of Saanich, BC discussed the historic nature of the occasion; how it is an example of the great vision and political will of both Petro-Canada and Canada’s EV societies; and how these EV fast chargers will contribute to Saanich’s goal of being zero emissions by 2030.

And finally Wilf Steimle, Chair & President, Electric Vehicle Society commented on how Canada’s Electric Highway™ is possibly the longest, non-proprietary fast charging network in the world. And for the first time, Canadians can travel as quickly and conveniently across the country in an electric vehicle as they can in a traditional car.

Below is the video where you can view the opening ceremony and the full remarks.

Canada’s Electric Highway™ covers 6300 km. The maximum distance between charging stations is 250 km, and on average it is 150 km between stations. Each site features DC fast chargers with both CHAdeMO and CCS/SAE connectors, which support a broad selection of vehicles. The chargers can provide up to a 200 kilowatt charge – enough to provide an 80 per cent charge to most EVs in less than 30 minutes. The units are also capable of 350 kilowatt charging with future upgrades.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the inauguration of our westernmost site in Victoria!

~ Braden H.