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Today’s electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream due to lower prices, faster charging times and increased driving ranges.

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Save on fuel costs

You can save hundreds of dollars in annual fuel costs, plus reduce maintenance costs.

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Reduce your footprint

Driving an electric vehicle (EV) can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%.

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Extend your driving range

An EV can travel from 140 to 450 kilometres on a single charge – that’s like driving from Toronto to Peterborough!

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Get in the fast lane

A green licence plate lets you access High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, getting you there faster.

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Recharge across Ontario

Quick, high-voltage chargers provide a full charge in under an hour.
 

How do you choose the right electric vehicle?

For the ultimate in energy efficiency, go all-electric. For greater range, choose a hybrid.
 
photo of an electric charging stationBattery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

Battery Electric Vehicles run entirely on a battery and electric drive train, and get their “fuel” from plugging into an external source of electricity to recharge. Like all electric vehicles, BEVs recharge their batteries through regenerative braking: when the motor slows, the EV reuses some of the energy normally converted to heat by the brakes.

 

photo of an electric charging stationPlug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV)

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles run mostly on rechargeable batteries, but they're also equipped with an internal combustion engine that can recharge the battery or replace the electric drive train when more power is needed. PHEVs are often cheaper and cleaner than traditional hybrids because they can be recharged by plugging into the power grid.
 

 

photo of an electric charging stationHybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)

These are the traditional hybrids. Hybrid Electric Vehicles have two complementary drive systems: a gas engine and fuel tank, plus an electric motor, battery and controls. The gas engine and the electric motor can simultaneously turn the transmission, which powers the wheels. HEVs are not plug-ins — they cannot be recharged from the power grid.

 

photo of an electric charging stationFuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV)

Fuel-cell Electric Vehicles use hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, and they have several advantages: they refuel in minutes, emit only water as exhaust, and have a range of about 500 kilometres. But they’re not yet widely available. There’s one model available in Canada — the fuel-cell Hyundai Tucson — and a handful of public hydrogen refueling stations.

 


How do you choose the right electric vehicle?

For the ultimate in energy efficiency, go all-electric. For greater range, choose a hybrid.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

Battery Electric Vehicles run entirely on a battery and electric drive train, and get their “fuel” from plugging into an external source of electricity to recharge. Like all electric vehicles, BEVs recharge their batteries through regenerative braking: when the motor slows, the EV reuses some of the energy normally converted to heat by the brakes.
 

photo of an electric charging station
photo of an electric charging station
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV)

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles run mostly on rechargeable batteries, but they're also equipped with an internal combustion engine that can recharge the battery or replace the electric drive train when more power is needed. PHEVs are often cheaper and cleaner than traditional hybrids because they can be recharged by plugging into the power grid.
 

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)

These are the traditional hybrids. Hybrid Electric Vehicles have two complementary drive systems: a gas engine and fuel tank, plus an electric motor, battery and controls. The gas engine and the electric motor can simultaneously turn the transmission, which powers the wheels. HEVs are not plug-ins — they cannot be recharged from the power grid.
 

photo of an electric charging station
photo of an electric charging station
Fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV)

Fuel-cell Electric Vehicles use hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, and they have several advantages: they refuel in minutes, emit only water as exhaust, and have a range of about 500 kilometres. But they’re not yet widely available. There’s one model available in Canada — the fuel-cell Hyundai Tucson — and a handful of public hydrogen refueling stations.
 


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Interested in low-cost, energy-efficient transportation? Driving an electric vehicle will help you save on fuel and maintenance costs.

EVs are much more affordable to own because they run on electricity instead of fossil fuels. The average Canadian driver, travelling about 20,000 kilometres a year, can save up to $2,500 annually on fuel and maintenance.

 
Electric motors are also more sophisticated and durable than internal combustion engines. Why? EVs have only one moving part, so they don’t need oil changes, coolant flushes, mufflers or exhaust systems to keep running optimally.

 

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Battery Electric Vehicle

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Average cost: $300 a year, or $0.78 a day if you charge it at night

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle

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Average cost: $700 a year, or $1.92 a day (including electricity and gas) if you charge it at night

Gas-fueled Vehicle

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Comparable gasoline-fueled cars consume anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 a year in fuel


For the lowest rates, charge your electric vehicle between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays, and 24 hours a day on weekends and statutory holidays. More on Time-of-Use rates.

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How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle? It really depends on the type of charging station and the voltage.

The time needed to charge an electric vehicle depends on current charge level, battery capacity and temperature. Typically, an EV parked at home for 14 hours or at the office for 8 hours will be fully charged. On average, Plug-In Hybrids need 1 to 4 hours to charge fully on a 240-volt station, while Battery Electric Vehicles need 4 to 8 hours to charge fully from zero.

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If you live in a house with a private driveway or garage, installing a charging station is easy. If you don’t have a garage or private driveway, you’ll need to find an alternative place to install a charging station.

If you live in an apartment or condominium, be aware that building policies and infrastructure vary from building to building. Before you buy an EV, consult the property managers about charging stations. Consult Plug ’N Drive for more on condo charging.

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Charge your electric vehicle while you sleep, and recharge your batteries at the same time.

Recharging your EV any time of day will result in far fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less air pollution than a car would generate by burning gasoline or diesel. But charging overnight, during off-peak hours, is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly way to power your electric vehicle.

 
You can also charge your EV at public charging stations. There are currently more than 5,000 public charging stations across Canada, and almost 1,500 Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations in Ontario. There are also several websites and apps that track the location of public charging stations worldwide. Consult Electric Mobility Canada and ChargeHub for EV charging maps and apps.

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Travel distance can vary depending on the technology.

New EVs typically travel 100 kilometres on a single charge. Some battery EVs can reach 160 kilometres on one charge, while Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles may travel more than 500 kilometres using a combination of battery and gas-engine technology. The distance an EV can travel depends on:
 

  • Technology — pure EV, hybrid or plug-in

  • Battery size

  • Weight carried

  • Temperature

  • Accessories in use

  • Individual driving style.

     
What about range anxiety? Electric vehicles don't unexpectedly run out of charge. EV dashboards display the “range remaining,” so you can plan your trip.

 

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Aren’t electric vehicles expensive?

EVs come in different models at different price points, just like gas cars.

With so many EVs on the market, there’s one at every price point. Plus, there’s a federal incentive of $2,500 to $5,000 when you buy or lease a new EV that retails for $45,000 or less. Higher-priced models are also eligible, and the incentives are applied right at point of sale.

The $5,000 incentive applies to battery-powered, fuel cell and long-range Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, and the $2,500 incentive applies to shorter-range plug-in models. And there are over 35 different models of EVs and Plug-in Hybrids available to choose from. Consult Transport Canada to learn more.

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Ready to learn more?

Check out Plug‘N Drive. It offers information about incentives, benefits of EVs, charging stations — plus an EV catalogue.


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Ready to buy your first EV?

Download our Buyer’s Checklist for 10 key considerations when shopping for an electric vehicle.

Download the Buyer's Checklist