If you’ve been considering making the leap into driving a fully electric vehicle, you’ve probably got a ton of questions running through your mind. We hope this page will help guide you to make an educated decision that works best for you and the environment! If you’d like to skip it and see what EVs we have in stock, you can browse our complete EV inventory here!
BUT I HEARD EVS CAN’T DRIVE AS FAR…
Range anxiety. Probably the very first thing you think when electric vehicles come to mind. The truth is, the average Canadian road-user travels less than 40kms per day!
Some EVs are designed to be primarily an in-town commuter, but with today’s improving battery technologies and charging networks, it’s becoming more and more practical to drive an electric vehicle for just about any purpose. On the lower end, typical EV range is between 130 and 170 kilometers, and with many high end EVs, maximum range is commonly in excess of 240 kilometers! Did you know Tesla’s new Model S 100D has a range of 539 kilometers on a single charge?
Charging station networks across BC are continuously growing, with thousands of free level 2 charging stations across the province, and many level 3 quick charge stations, it’s possible to drive virtually anywhere in the province in your electric car!
BUT DOESN’T IT TAKE FOREVER TO CHARGE?
Forever? No. But it’s true that it currently takes longer to charge an EV from 0%-100% than it would to fill a tank of gas. But at the rate battery and charging station technology improves, it’s not likely to be that way for very long!
What most people considering switching to electric don’t realize is that charging an EV is a complete shift in the way we think of fueling vehicles. Firstly, 80% of all EV charging happens at home when you aren’t using the vehicle, meaning your virtually always leaving the house with a full tank, compared to a gas vehicle that requires you to drive to the gas station. Secondly, the vast majority of EVs offer 3 levels of charging speed;
- Level 1 Charging – uses a 110-120V socket and trickle charger included with each EV when purchased brand new. Typically charges at a rate of 7km/hr (<2kW)
- Level 2 Charging – uses 220-240V electricity with an installed charging station. Some charging stations charge at a rate of up to 38km/hr (7kW), and can be installed in your home from between $1000 and $2000 total cost depending on the complexity of the install. Level 2 is currently the most common charging method, and can be found in homes and apartment complexes, at businesses, in parkades, and more either for free or for a small fee.
- Level 3 Charging – not for at-home use, uses 440V 3-phase power converted to DC (direct current) supporting between 50 and 100kW! These stations can charge and EV from flat to 80% in about 25-30 minutes and are typically used when you’re taking your EV on a long trip. Costing between $40,000 and $100,000 to install, these stations do all have a charging fee, which in BC the standard is $0.35/kW. From 2014-2016, BC Hydro and both provincial and federal governments partnered to complete a project to install 30 DC fast charging stations across BC. As of 2019, there are 71 stations in BC, and plans to increase that number to 151 are currently underway!
There are plenty of apps available for your smart phone to help you find charging stations and even pay for charging. One of the most popular, and our favourite, is plugshare. It’s a wiki-style app allowing users to add and change charging station information with the ability to filter charging stations by the style of plug your EV uses.
BUT I HEARD REPLACING THE BATTERY IS EXPENSIVE…
You’re right! They are expensive! About $5000-6000 is the norm to replace an EV battery pack.
Here’s the thing though, have you looked at how much it costs to put a brand new engine in your car right now? You’d be very lucky to install a new one for under $5000. Not only that, EV batteries are designed to last much longer than the service life of a typical gasoline engine.
Additionally, manufacturer warranties are are significantly better on EV batteries than on equivalent vehicles with gasoline engines. Where the typical warranty on a gas engine is between 4 and 5 years, most EVs come with 8-year, 160,000km warranty; and with Tesla, the warranty has unlimited kilometers!
If cost is a big factor in your decision to go EV, you’ll love messing with our gas savings calculator below. See exactly what you would save by switching to an EV today!