Middle East gets its fill of Canadian residents after Canada tax

Image copyright Evans & Sutherland Image caption James Ford is an electric vehicle enthusiast with his sights set on Canada’s electric vehicle revolution

James Ford is planning to move back to the Middle East after spending 35 years in Canada.

He’s one of thousands of residents making the move because of jobs — and a growing market for electric vehicles.

Research from the Canadian government in 2016 found that more than 160,000 people have moved back to Canada from the Middle East since 2008.

Many think that the government’s new carbon tax will encourage more Canadians to return.

Mr Ford, who was born in the United Arab Emirates, is riding the New York City subway for the first time in 30 years after getting a job there.

“There’s no gas in the train,” he said. “With a gas pump they’re like, ‘Oh, you can have a whole tank of gas’. I don’t want to do that. I just want to do my $5 (£3.30) subway ride back to Canada.”

Image copyright Evans & Sutherland Image caption Mr Ford says people are not familiar with electric vehicles in Canada

Mr Ford, an electric vehicle enthusiast, says he’s in love with the cars that are available on the market today.

He says they’re the Ford he remembers in his native UAE. It’s more convenient to buy one of those today than in the UAE in 1980.

“Ford had an original Fusion in the UAE,” he said. “Back then, you either had a two or four cylinder engine. The standard design was the only one available.

“Maybe two of those would go with two of those in the UAE.”

Image copyright James Ford Image caption He says there are some people who are just intimidated by the idea of electric cars

Image copyright Ford Image caption Mr Ford says more people are buying electric cars in the US because they are cheaper

To improve safety, he prefers newer cars like the Model S. When the hatchback sedan was just starting out it had a huge advantage over those platforms, he said.

“Everytime there was a hazard, there was a safety recall,” he said. “With safety recalls, there was always the same thing.”

He says electric cars made in the last 20 years also have automatic braking that will knock out another car if you have someone in your blind spot.

Mr Ford says people are not necessarily familiar with the concept of electric vehicles, but he thinks a lot of them are willing to give them a chance.

“I don’t think it’s all a new-fangled idea, but people just need a chance to get used to it,” he said.

“I bought one the other day.”

Mr Ford will also be back in Canada soon to help build the country’s new hydrogen fuel cell powered car.

But he’s already begun to get into the electric car business himself and he’s planning to ride his electric scooter across the country.

“People think that the electric will run out every week,” he said. “They think it’s the Tesla, but it’s not the Tesla.”

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