From freedom from high gas fueling costs to the prospect of a green-energy future with less greenhouse gas emissions, there are many reasons to be thinking about making the switch to purchasing your first electric car.
The world is less than a decade away from the point where electric cars will cost less or the same as those with gas-powered engines. Norway is leading today with 30% of cars sold being electric. It plans to ban gas-burning cars by 2025. In contrast, Canada is lagging far behind.
There are some real advantages to going electric yet many obstacles as well. The high price tag and the availability are huge factors. There are 97 electric cars on the market worldwide, though only 27 are available in this country. Currently, the Chevy Bolt is the most popular electric model with an attractive price tag of $45,000 CA, making it a lot more affordable than the luxury Tesla Model S, costing $75,000 CA. However, the wait time for one is at least 8 months. Less than half of the car dealerships that manufacture them, even sell them. The Ontario government rebate of $14,000 sweetens the deal to some degree, plus the $1000 available towards the installation of a charging station at your home.
Driving Range Anxiety is Real
New owners of electric cars all experience anxiety over the locations of charging stations and the distance the car will run on a full charge. New building codes require all new condo buildings to include charging stations. This does not help existing buildings. Some areas of Canada, such as northern Ontario have few and far between.
How long does it take to charge a cars’ battery?
It will vary according to the voltage of the charging station. The Chevy Bolt requires 10 hours to fully charge from empty on a 240-volt charger, which will get you approximately 402 miles. The Tesla Model S will get you 378 kms after 6 hours of charging on a dedicated Tesla charger. Tesla also has supercharging stations that are free and will charge half the battery life in around 20 minutes. But there are only a few of these stations across Canada. The best solution is to install a 240-volt charger at your home. Easy enough for homeowners, but not practical for renters.
Is a Hybrid Car the Answer?
While the government policies and car manufacturers catch up, perhaps in the midterm a hybrid such as the Toyota Prius Prime is the way to go. You can depend on electric power around town, and yet know you have dedicated gas power for longer road trips. It will get you 36 kms on electric power when fully charged. The battery charges easily in 5 hours on standard 120-volt power, eliminating the need for a garage wall charger, which is a huge advantage. The price tag is more appealing too at $29,889 CA.
Cost is a Factor
If your pockets are deep enough to spring for the luxury Tesla Model S, you will be rewarded with the ultimate driving experience. The performance, the styling—from the 17” touchscreen monitor, all-glass panoramic roof, to the highest safety levels, it is a car that does not disappoint. But for most, the high price tag is simply out of the question.
According to Consumer Reports magazine, the Chevy Bolt is “shockingly good!”. It is a compact car that boasts a lot of power. It can go from 0 to 60 km/hr in 6 seconds.
The least pricey and perhaps the most reliable currently in this country would be the Toyota Prius Prime, boasting a sci-fi looking cabin with a large touch-screen tablet for navigation and calling.