Women’s EV Night – 2022

This webinar is designed to help ‘normalize’ the idea of new and used electric vehicle (EV) ownership for women. The setting was informative, casual and fun without getting too far down in the weeds. Over 80 engaged participants and 4 empowering female speakers joined us for: Women’s EV Night.  Our guests helped shed a light on overcoming common barriers to EVs.

You can watch a recording of the Webinar on our Youtube Channel here.

The slide deck from eMERGE and Plug ‘N Drive is available here.
Sincere thanks to our presenters:
  • Cara Clairman Chief Executive Officer, Plug’n Drive
  • Mary Cameron, eMERGE EV Ambassador
  • Beverley Fretz , eMERGE EV Ambassador
And special thanks also go out to  Aleena Singh, eMERGE Board Member and moderator for the evening. We have provided an overview below.
Find a Here are some resources that can help us all consider buying an EV:

When it comes to buying an electric vehicle (EV), it still appears to be a man’s world. In fact, up to 70% of EVs are purchased by men, despite typical car ownership falling along typical gender lines.

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, all 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.

—————————————————————– Our Panelists: Cara Clairman, President and CEO, Plug ‘N Drive
Care 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.


eMERGE EV Ambassadors:

– Mary Cameron, eMERGE EV Ambassador, Chevy Bolt (used)

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Mary has been helping us through the pandemic as an ER doctor and vaccinator in the ICU at Guelph General Hospital. At the same time she’s raising 4 kids and says “I used to be the one to teach them everything, but more and more the roles have reversed and my kids teach me so much.”

When it comes to the environment, she’s been eating more of a plant based diet with dairy and meat only as an occasional treat, and has planted about 100 trees (provided by Trees for Guelph) in her yard over the past several years. She is also in the midst of renovating their house to be heated with an electric air source heat pump. Her husband also decided to buy a used EV after seeing the benefits of Mary’s car.

Her household includes a cat, a dog, 5 backyard chickens and tens of thousands of honeybees (but the bees stay outside).


Beverley Fretz, eMERGE EV Ambassador – Nissan Leaf (used)

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Beverley has spent her career working in education and training and is now at the University of Guelph as a Manager of Program Development for OpenEd Continuing Education.

The Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ scandal provided her with the perfect opportunity to trade in her VW diesel for a used (2014) EV Leaf. While she regrets not getting an EV with more range, the more humble Leaf does the trick for local ‘out and abouts’. And she can even fit her family of five – and the dog – in the car.

While hoping the future will include another used EV vehicle with more range, Beverley can’t imagine ever driving a gas vehicle again. She recommends EV driving for anyone who wants to reduce their environmental impact, save money, access the best parking spots (EV charging stations), and drive a vehicle that heats instantly (a winter bonus!).


Aleena Singh, Moderator

As a UX/UI Designer, she works with small businesses helping them leverage technology to thrive during the pandemic and afterwards. Aleena joined eMERGE Board of Directors last January 2021 and since then she is an active member with an outstanding contribution to our organization .

In her spare time she’s passionate about nature, gardening and considers herself a “serial hobbyist” (apparently that has nothing to do with Cheerios). She has just completed her first embroidery project, crocheted a blanket, knitted a sweater that’s taken more than 3 years and is now learning how to restore furniture!

Nature and gardening have a special place in her heart. She’s in the process of hiking the Bruce Trail, tried cross-country skiing this winter and planning to grow fruit, flowers and vegetable garden on her small balcony this summer.

She’s excited about being on the board because she “loves the impact eMERGE has within the Guelph community. It’s constantly working to help Guelphites learn about how to take action towards 100% renewable energy! I’m passionate about supporting local, engaging our youth in environmental stewardship, diversity and inclusion, and social justice.”


Our sponsor:

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.


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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