Electric cars, the future of driving?
The gravitation towards electric cars is growing in Canada. Although electric cars offer a number of benefits, there is still some hesitation towards making the switch. This post will walk you through electric cars, why buy one, and what the future looks like for EVs.
What is an electric car (EV)?
How exactly is an electric car different than its counterpart gasoline powered car? They have an electric motor instead of an internal engine. These vehicles use a battery pack to power the electric motor and they need to use charging stations to regain power. The difference between hybrid vehicles and EV’s is their type of fuel. Hybrids on the other hand have a combustible engine that runs on gasoline and an electric motor with an attached rechargeable battery pack.
So, why buy an electric car?
The advantages of an electric car include:
- They produce less pollution than gasoline counterparts
- Charging by electricity is cheaper than gasoline
- There are lower maintenance and repair needs
- They are quiet cars
- Savings from the government and tax credits
Be prepared for a few changes if you get an EV:
- Electric cars can travel less distance
- Recharging can take a while
- Charging stations are not always easy to come by
So, how much money can you save by buying an electric car in Canada?
The Canadian Federal government has taken a step towards making EV’s a part of Canada’s vehicles. The $5,000 rebate for buying EVs may motivate more drivers to make the switch. The intention here is to promote electric car sales and as a result help decrease Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative could also encourage manufacturers to bring more electric vehicles to the Canadian Market. Insurance also plays a component in saving, and we have 5 tips you can use.
The iZEV program offers incentives of up to $5,000 for purchases and leases of certain electric battery, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
As of April 25, 2022, the federal government’s incentive for the zero-emission vehicles program (iZEV)is expanding and more vehicle models have been added. It now includes minivans, pickup trucks, and SUV’s.
There are some rules, however, so be sure to check with the auto dealership. The federal government has a list of what vehicles are eligible, you can find over 1,000 models on that list and they include cars from most car manufacturers.
To get the incentive, it is applied at the point of sale by the dealership and will appear on the bill.
The iZEV program will continue until March 31, 2025.
By 2035, the federal government is planning to have all sales of new gas-powered vehicles banned, hoping that all vehicle sales at that time will be zero-emission.
You have some options for choosing an electric car:
Electric Vehicles (EVs): are battery-powered vehicles that don’t use gasoline at all, they are solely powered by electricity. Electric cars get their power from batteries, which feed off an electric motor. **EV & PHEV - Both types of cars include a cord that plugs into an electrical outlet.
Here are the top 10 EV vehicles in Canada:
- Hyundai IONIQ 5 - range 488km
- Hyundai KONA electric - range 415km
- Kia Niro EV - range 385km
- Kia Soul EV - range 383km
- Volkswagen ID.4 - range 400km
- Nissan LEAF - 240km
- Chevrolet Bolt - range 417km
- Mini Cooper SE - range 183km
- Tesla Model 3 - range 430 km
- BMW i3 - range 309km
PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles): PHEV vehicles are hybrid cars that plug into an electrical outlet. Plug-in vehicles use two different powertrains, both of which can drive the wheels. When the battery that feeds the electric motor is drained of power, a gasoline-powered engine kicks in. **EV & PHEV - Both types of cars include a cord that plugs into an electrical outlet.
Here are the top 10 PHEV vehicles in Canada:
- Toyota Prius Prime
- Honda Clarity
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Subaru Crosstrek
- Mini Countryman Cooper SE
- Ford Escape
- Hyundai Ioniq
- BMW 3 series
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Toyota RAV 4 Prime
Extended-range electric vehicles (E-REV): An extended-range vehicle bridges the gap between EV and PHEV. It runs on electric power, but has a built-in generator (that charges the vehicle's battery) and uses gasoline to keep it topped up. Basically, the ‘power unit’ extends the range of an EV vehicle by providing electric power to the motor/battery as needed.
Here are the top 10 E-REV vehicles in Canada:
- Tesla Model S
- Tesla Model X
- Tesla Model 3
- Tesla Model Y
- Ford Mache-e E California Route 1
- Chevrolet Bolt
- Hyundai Kona
- Volkswagen ID.4
- Kia Niro
- Jaguar 1-Pace
Where are electric cars working in the world right now?
China – In case you didn’t know, China has become the biggest electric car market in the world holding just about 60% of the market. With a mandate that new cars must be electric and striving to replace all current ones. “China’s dominance of the cobalt and rare-earth industries has allowed it to become a leader in electric vehicle manufacturing.”It is estimated that China will be making over 8 million electric cars by 2028. China already has the electric car infrastructure after a nationwide (government-backed) rollout of over 800,000 public charging stations - almost twice as many as the rest of the world!
Norway– Almost 65%% of new cars sold in Norway in 2021 were electric, and 22% were plug-in hybrids. Half a million people in Norway now drive EV’s and Norway has become the world’s top-selling electric-vehicle market per capita. One great initiative by the Norwegian government is that they’ve invested heavily in financial incentives and charging infrastructure. The government taxes the sales of new polluting cars heavily, but not EV’s, which in turn makes them more appealing to customers. EV’s are expensive to produce, but by eliminating the tax it makes it a more competitive option for buyers. They aim to have zero emissions in all new cars and vans by 2025.
Sweden – Sweden had an ambitious plan to cut emissions from transport by bringing in millions of electric cars as a replacement. Over half of new car sales in Sweden (in late 2021) were electric. In fact, sales of electric cars were so popular that the financial incentives put in place to encourage the sale of electric cars have been exhausted.
Disrupting the Market
When will electric cars take over? 2030, 2050, in your lifetime?
What would make it possible? If more people buy these vehicles, the prices are bound to drop with an added increase in pressure on suppliers. The introduction of new charging stations in major cities will follow as EVs become more prevalent on the roads. People should have easily accessible charging stations and not take long detours to find one. A pursuit to increase the number of EVs on the road will ultimately contribute towards reducing global warming and reducing the greenhouse gas effect from the automotive industry.
There is hope. We’re already starting to see a trend, a belief in batteries. Electric-powered aircrafts for instance. How can we use our clean energy to electrify other sectors? Replacing fossil fuels in other sectors with clean electricity.
Some Hesitation: Why we can’t possibly switch everyone to electric cars
Some say it will be too costly to remake the electric grids of the roads. New York City is one example where there are a number of other factors contributing to the barriers for electric cars to run the streets. The construction of new renewable energy capacity is one that creates a challenge. "There is a raw material cost of going green." according to NY Post.
The cost of insurance, the question we all have
Electric cars may be a bit more of an investment up front, but they end up being more affordable to run than gas-powered cars. Fuel costs are lower, and on average it may cost $300 to $400 per year to charge an electric vehicle, while plug-in hybrids could cost $700 per year more or less. You see the big difference in cost in comparison to a regular gasoline car where you'll be spending anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 to gas up.
Visit our auto insurance page to learn more about our services. Is insurance for electric cars more or less expensive? Learn more about online auto insurance. In addition, you can also check out our post about different ways to get your car ready for spring.