Encouraging EV use | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Encouraging the use of electric vehicles

Assess technological innovations designed to encourage the use of electric vehicles.

Activity Image
35 mins
Group work


In this activity, students use criteria to assess technological innovations related to electric vehicles. Students determine if technology can encourage greater use of electric vehicles.

BC Hydro


What you'll need

  • "5 game-changing innovations" handout, one for each group
  • "Rating the innovations" worksheet, one for each group
  • "What is electrification?" video

  1. Show your students the video "What is electrification?" to help them understand how electricity is generated in B.C. and what electrification means.
  2. Organize your students into pairs and and read the statement: “Under the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, by 2030 30% per cent of all vehicles sold in B.C. must be electric. By 2040, the target is 100%.” 
  3. Ask groups to identify three significant challenges or difficulties that could make it difficult to achieve these goals. 
  4. As groups share their ideas with the class, invite them to decide which idea might present the greatest challenge to reaching the goals of the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act
  5. Encourage students to propose technological innovations that might help address these challenges. Invite your students to suggest which of the suggested technologies might be the most promising. As students share their decisions, use their ideas to co-develop or present the criteria for assessing innovative technologies or products:  
  • Desirable: Does this technology fill a need, meet a demand or goal, or solve a problem? How great is the need and demand? How significant is the goal or problem?
  • Feasible: Are the equipment, and resources required for the technology affordable, available, and usable?
  • Effective: How successfully will the technology address the problem, meet the demand, or solve the problem?
  1. Briefly explain that the challenge of this activity is to assess technologies that could be used to address various challenges or difficulties related to using electric vehicles. 
  2. Provide each group with a copy of the "5 game-changing innovations" handout and the "Rating the innovations" worksheet. Ask groups to use the worksheet to assess each of the innovations described in the handout. 
  3. To conclude the activity, ask groups to suggest which technological innovations might most effectively encourage greater use of electric vehicles. As a class, brainstorm other technological innovations that could help the province reach the targets of the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act.

Modify or extend this activity


  • Invite students to research one of the innovations from handout in more detail.
  • Ask students to brainstorm and then evaluate additional inventions or innovations that could help address other challenges or barriers to greater usage of electric vehicles. 
  • Use the criteria for assessing innovative technologies or products to evaluate technology used in the workplace or other technological innovations. 


  • Groups could be assigned to assess a specific innovation related to electric vehicles.

Curriculum Fit

Science for Citizens 11

Big idea

  • Scientific understanding enables humans to respond and adapt to changes locally and globally. 


  • Evidence-based decision making through science
  • Impacts of technologies 
  • Beneficial scientific innovations
  • Actions and decisions affecting the local and global environment, including those of First Peoples

Curricular competencies

Questioning and predicting
  • Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal, local, or global interest
Processing and analyzing data and information
  • Construct, analyze, and interpret graphs, models, and/or diagrams
  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence
  • Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
  • Exercise a healthy, informed skepticism, and use scientific knowledge and findings to form their own investigations to evaluate claims in primary and secondary sources
  • Critically analyze the validity of information in primary and secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems
Applying and innovating
  • Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through individual or collaborative approaches
  • Consider the role of scientists in innovation
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information, and perhaps a suggested course of action, for a specific purpose and audience, constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions, and representations

Teaching Notes

Electric vehicles

Transportation, through the burning of fossil fuels, is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change, governments are moving towards clean renewable energy sources for transportation. By 2040, all new light trucks and car sales will be zero-emission vehicles in Canada. Electric vehicles reduce carbon emissions, as well as maintenance due to fewer moving parts and fuel costs. In B.C., 97% of our electricity is generated from a clean renewable energy source. Barriers to buying an electric vehicle include the initial cost and range, or distance you can travel, on a charge. Innovation and new technologies are continually improving battery storage and EVs are able to travel greater and greater distances. See BC Hydro and PlugInBC for more information.

Clean renewable energy sources

Choosing renewable energy sources helps reduce the impact of our energy use on the environment. In B.C., 98% of electricity is generated from water, a clean and renewable source. Burning fossil fuels for transportation releases greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide into the environment that had previously been trapped underground. 


Assess your students’ abilities to:

  • Use criteria to make reasoned judgments
  • Use appropriate scientific evidence to explain and support reasoned judgments
  • Use appropriate scientific terminology when explaining reasoned judgments 


Select the materials you require for this activity or download all

Join the Power Smart for Schools community to access:

  • Email newsletter to keep you up-to-date
  • Special events and contests with great prizes
  • Premium, time-limited education resources
  • Dashboard to organize and save your favourite activities and lessons
Sign up