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It’s no secret that getting a new car has been a challenge with disruptions to the supply chain. We’ve also seen the cost of used cars creep up. Perhaps you’ve been thinking it’s time for a new car but are waiting for supply and demand to level out. If so, it’s a good time to do research on switching to an electric vehicle (EV). It might be more feasible than you think!
According to Plug ‘n Drive, an Ontario-based non-profit working to increase the use of electric cars, the average Canadian driver who travels about 20,000 km per year can save $2,000 on fuel alone. You’ll also save on maintenance costs. And an EV can reduce your car’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent.
RTOERO member Bill Doyle (District 14) switched to an electric vehicle in November 2021 and says his electricity bill has increased by just $20 a month, while he’s saved hundreds per month on fuel.
“About 95 per cent of my charging is at home, overnight. So, I expect to spend about $240 per year to power the car. And I don’t have to worry about oil changes,” says Doyle.
Canada has the target of all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks to be zero-emission by 2035. More and more people will choose electric and start installing home charging stations. You’ll be ahead of the tipping point by making the switch sooner. You’ll already be adapted to your new way of driving!
There is a federal incentive for new electric vehicles, and provinces have their own incentives. In Ontario, you can access a $1,000 incentive through Plug ‘n Drive for a used EV.
Even if you’ve never been an early adopter, it’s not too later to start! When you switch to an EV, you’ll help others around you see how realistic it is.
Doyle has a Kia Soul with a battery range of almost 400km, depending on the temperature outside (battery range is impacted by cold temperatures).
“If I plan to go to Toronto, I charge the battery to 100 per cent, and I can make the return trip without a problem,” explains Doyle.
Long road trips with an electric car take more planning, but it’s simple thanks to apps and websites that help with planning, like plugshare.ca. You can map your trip and choose your charge points along the way.
“I’m thinking I might travel out east with it, and it will mean planning where to stop,” says Doyle. “If I had a gas car, I might do the trip in four days, whereas I might take five or six with the electric car, but it will give me a chance to sightsee more.”
Planning your route should prevent a situation where you run out of power, but if it happens, you can use your CAA membership to access a tow to the nearest charging station.
It does take some time to adjust to the new way of fueling a car. At first, you might find yourself watching the battery indicator quite a bit and may even feel some anxiety about your range. But that will pass. Doyle says it’s similar to when your fuel indicator comes on in a gas car – you know you still have a bit of distance left. “I have no regrets about making the change,” he says.
Environmental stewardship is one of our key advocacy issues at RTOERO. The responsible use of resources, conservation, and protecting our air, land and water — improving in all areas is critical to a sustainable future. Transportation accounts for about one-quarter of Canada’s carbon emissions. As our population and economy grow, so do the number of vehicles on our roads. Switching to electric is a realistic way individuals can have an impact.