Is an electric car right for you?
Pros and cons of electric cars
How much does an electric car cost to buy?
Electric cars are usually more expensive to buy than gas-powered equivalents. Prices run around $30,000 to $40,000, but some provinces offer incentives and discounts that can make them more affordable. For instance, Quebec offers rebates of up to $8,000 and BC offers rebates of up to $5,000.
How environmentally friendly are electric vehicles?
A lot of people choose electric vehicles to help protect the environment. Fully-electric cars have zero tailpipe emissions, but they’re not 100% emissions-free. Most electric vehicle batteries are lithium-based and take more energy to manufacture than gas-powered cars. However, studies show that electric cars and plug-in hybrids produce fewer polluting emissions over their lifetimes than gas-powered cars.
Is an electric car economical to own?
Electric cars cost more to buy, but they’re more affordable to run than gas-powered cars. For one thing, fuel costs are lower. On average, it costs $300 to $400 per year to charge an electric vehicle, depending on when and where you charge it. A typical plug-in hybrid costs about $700 per year. By comparison, a gasoline car can cost you $1,000 to $2,500 a year to fill up. Electric cars are also a lot cheaper to maintain and service because they have fewer moving parts and don’t need oil changes. You can even save money on your car insurance.
What’s the difference between an electric car, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid?
Unlike electric cars, which have electric motors and rechargeable batteries, hybrids run on a combination of gasoline and electricity. When the combustion engine is running, it charges the battery for the electric engine. Plug-in hybrids can be charged in the same way as electric vehicles, but they also have back-up gasoline motors, which eliminates the range anxiety you get with fully-electric vehicles.
Can electric vehicles handle Canadian winters?
In wintry weather, electric car batteries can lose more than half their range. You can make up for this in part by warming up the car while it’s still plugged in, using economy mode settings and sticking to the speed limit. Canadians who drive 20 to 100 km a day and have access to a charging station may find that an electric car is the right choice, even in the winter. Another solution is to buy an electric vehicle with a longer-range battery, but of course it costs more.
How far can I drive an electric car before it needs recharging?
Depending on road conditions and your driving habits, the average is 140 to 450 km on a single charge. That’s fine for most people who travel less than 80 km per day. But an electric vehicle might not be the best choice for longer trips because charging stations can be hard to find. Plus, charging stations exist in 3 standard charging levels. So, depending on the type of charging station you find, it could take anywhere from 10 minutes…to 8 hours to charge your car!
The good news? Charging stations are popping up everywhere. There’s a growing network of 5,000+ public charging stations in Canada. Some provinces offer rebates and subsidies when you install a charging station at home, and new condominium buildings often have charging areas in their parking lots.
An eco-friendly solution
Despite their drawbacks, electric cars can be a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly mode of transportation and an increasingly viable solution to our global pollution woes. Some countries and carmakers are already promising to end the sale of gas and diesel cars in the near future. It’s up to you to decide if the pros outweigh the cons.
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Is an electric car right for you?
Electric vehicles are gaining in popularity worldwide as people become more concerned about climate change. If you’re thinking about switching to an eco-friendly car, read on. We answer some of the most common questions about buying and owning an electric vehicle.
The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories.
The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.