Obsolete Technology

Obsolete technology, like this pay phone, often become “stranded assets”. That is, they stop providing value long before they are physically deteriorated. To remain efficient, organizations need to avoid getting stuck with stranded assets which represent a waste of resources.

What does this have to do with Oakville-Halton? Well, our municipality could potentially get stuck with a LOT of stranded assets – I’m referring to vehicles with internal combustion engines. These vehicles serve in a wide variety of functions including police cars, fire trucks, buses, paramedics, service trucks, etc. And just like the pay phone, these vehicles will soon be displaced by newer, better technology – electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles are quiet, non-polluting, and very inexpensive to operate. But most importantly, they are here now! They are no longer science fiction; they are available today and many more models are coming in the next 2-3 years. Up until very recently, electric vehicles were prohibitively expensive. But that is changing fast. Batteries prices have been falling by 10-14% per year, and soon electric vehicles will cost less to purchase than gasoline vehicles.

So, what should we do, knowing that this disruptive technology is real and approaching fast? That’s easy. Stop buying more internal combustion engine vehicles. Oakville-Halton should immediately place a moratorium on the purchase of new gasoline vehicles in order to avoid getting stuck with fleets full of stranded assets. Instead, we need to plan for this new technology, develop procurement strategies, install charging facilities and get ready to make the switch to electric vehicles as soon as practical.

Here’s a brand new Halton Police cruiser ready to be placed into service. Will it be obsolete before it’s worn out?

Electric vehicle facts:

  • over 1 million electric buses were manufactured worldwide in 2017
  • electric passenger vehicles now make up 6.8% of all new cars sold in Canada
  • the biggest hurdle to electric vehicle adoption right now is inventory – car dealers just don’t have enough stock on hand to meet the demand

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