Women’s EV Night

Our first in a series of  EV Webinars was designed for women and by women. The setting was informative, casual and fun without getting too far down in the weeds.

Over 30 engaged participants and 6 empowering female speakers joined us on May 7, 2020 for: Women’s EV Night

For those that were unable to make it you can find a recording of the Webinar on our Youtube Channel here

Here are some resources that can help us all consider buying an EV:

The slide deck from eMERGE and Plug ‘N Drive are now available here

Sincere thanks to our captivating speakers: 

  • Cara Clairman Chief Executive Officer, Plug’n Drive
  • Dav Cvitkovic, Chief Operating Officer, Plug’n Drive
  • Shirley Hunt, eMERGE EV Ambassaror
  • Lisa Mactaggart, eMERGE EV Ambassador

And special thanks also go out to Indu Arora, eMERGE Board Member and moderator for the evening. We have provided an overview below.



It appears to be a man’s world when it comes to buying EVs (electric vehicles). In fact, up to 70% are purchased by men, despite typical car ownership falling along typical gender lines: 50% women and 50% men.

We know that more women tend to be early ‘environmental adopters’ than men. That doesn’t appear to be the case when it comes to EVs .

In this webinar, 100% of our experts are women.

Over 8,000 new vehicles are sold in Guelph every year, but very few are electric. Every EV that’s purchased (instead of a gas or diesel vehicle) reduces greenhouse gas emissions by over 4 tonnes per year. That’s massive.

This webinar is designed to help ‘normalize’ the idea of new and used EV ownership for women. 

We’re bringing together two of the country’s leading experts on EVs: Cara Clairman, Chief Executive Officer and Dav Cvitkovic Chief Operating Officer from Plug’nDrive. They led the discussion by two Guelph EV owners; Shirley Hunt and Lisa MacTaggart who shared their local EV experiences.

The aim of this webinar is to make women feel more comfortable in taking EV ownership seriously. Consider it an EV icebreaker that will prepare you for some of our upcoming webinars including an EV 101 session with our friends at Plug’n Drive scheduled on May 13, 2020. Please note Registration is required for attending the EV 101 session.

Our Panelists:

Cara Clairman, President and CEO, Plug ‘N Drive

CARA CLAIRMAN is President and CEO of Plug’n Drive, a non-profit that is accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) to maximize their environmental and economic benefits.

Cara has taken Plug’n Drive from an idea to a thriving non-profit, recognized as a leader in the EV space. In 2018 Plug’n Drive’s Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre was selected as Canada’s 2019 Top Project by the Clean 50 Community.

Cara has more than 20 years of experience working in the environmental and sustainability fields, including 12 years working at Ontario Power Generation, initially as OPG’s environmental lawyer and later in the role Vice President of Sustainable Development. Prior to joining OPG, Cara spent five years practicing environmental law with the Torys law firm.

She holds a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, as well as an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from Queen’s University.

Cara is the 2017 recipient of the Women in Renewable Energy’s ‘Woman of the Year’ award. She is currently driving the 100% electric Tesla Model 3.

Cara joined by her colleague, Dav Cvitkovic, Chief Operating Officer, Plug’n Drive.


Shirley Hunt, Co-founder, Executive Director, Up and Running

As a social worker with a community development background, Shirley has always enjoyed bringing people together to brainstorm and launch new ideas. At Up and Running,she brings one of her favourite outdoor pastimes – trail running – to women who are looking to improve their mental health. Before that Shirley worked in a school-based program bringing children into nature through photography at Focus on Nature (FON), as its first Executive Director.

Shirley reluctantly became an eMERGE EV Ambassador, concerned that she might not know enough about EVs. In fact she sheepishly admitted that she didn’t know the difference between a kW and kWh. Given that she is a “recovering” gas car driver, we asked if she knows the difference between horsepower and pound feet of torque. We bet you don’t know either . By the end of our June 2019 EV Show she said “I had no idea that I was an EV expert”. For our photo shoot, she planned to wear a jean jacket to be ‘bad-ass’. We reminded her that bad-assery is a state of mind. While fashion can help, this is all about attitude. It would appear that she had the attitude all along and probably didn’t need the jean jacket as a crutch after all.


Lisa Mactaggart, OALA, CSLA, BLA

Lisa Mactaggart is a Landscape Architect and has operated her Guelph based practice, Arium Design Group, since 2005. Arium Design Group is a vehicle to explore high performance landscapes and innovative public realms. Landscape architecture combines her varied interests in plants, ecology, design, building, art and working with people. She is also the senior landscape architect at the Office of Responsive Environments based in Toronto.

Lisa brought her used EV (yes they exist) in March 2018. There are three licensed drivers in her household sharing the EV, as well as a second gas vehicle . Their EV is always the first to leave the garage (you’ll have to ask her how well that family dynamic works). Her partner, Leo, is a car guy who now rarely drives his gas car – opting for the EV if he gets to it first. Lisa works from home or takes public transit to Toronto. They plan to replace their remaining gas car in the near future.

Our host for the evening: Indu Arora

Indu is trying to stay ahead of her daughter who is egging her on to make the switch to an EV. As a result, she’s looking forward to moderating a great discussion enabling her to learn more while dispelling the myths. She’s interested in going electric for all the right environmental reasons, but has concerns over cost and availability. Like many, she’s just learned that there are also affordable used EVs on the market right now.

Her commitment to community has enveloped her life since a very young age. The U of G grad and lifelong Guelphite has been honoured for that commitment as a YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction and a Guelph Mercury Tribune 2018 Top 20 Under 40 recipient.

Indu has spent her career working in the educational publishing field. She a freelance Permissions Editor, working on elementary, secondary and university/college textbooks. She is also a member of the eMERGE Board of Directors.


Our sponsors:


Why is eMERGE pushing EVs?

There are many ways to fight climate change.

But when it comes to transportation planning our approach at eMERGE is quite clear. Society has to take an approach that prioritizes 1) walking and then 2) cycling followed by 3) electrified public transit and finally 4) electrified personal transportation (cars).

ICE vehicles have no place in this century. The quicker we can take them off the road the better. Implementing transportation plans takes time and needs to be done properly. While the planning is ongoing, we need to accelerate the switch to EVs.

Over 8,000 new cars are sold in Guelph every year. Getting these car buyers to make the change to an EV gives us results now. Each purchase means that we cut four tonnes of climate change pollution per year. This approach buys us some time to keep pushing the envelope on transportation planning at the same time.

Here is what’s coming up:

USED EVs and EV 101 – with Plug’n Drive scheduled at 3:00 pm on Wednesday May 13, 2020

Who knew that there are used EVs on the market today?Well now you do too.

eMERGE is delighted to partner with our good friends Plug ‘N Drive to present the Used EV Webinar presented by Cara Clairman, President and CEO, Plug’n Drive.

This will help you understand:
– The financial and environmental benefits of Electric Vehicles (EVs),
– Key considerations when purchasing an EV,
– Understanding EV charging public and private,
– Lessons learned through case study examination.
– How Plug’n Drive’s Used EV and Scrappage Program works

By attending this webinar , you will also be eligible for the Used EV Incentive and Scrappage Program for up to of $2,000 in used EV rebates.

42 Carden Street, 
Guelph, ON N1H 3A2
[email protected]

eMERGE Guelph fights climate change by energizing the community to achieve 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.

42 Carden Street, 
Guelph, ON N1H 3A2
[email protected]

eMERGE Guelph fights climate change by energizing the community to achieve 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.

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