If you are considering a new vehicle, have you thought about trying an electric car? Recent research from Plugndrive.ca reported that “most of Canada’s electricity comes from Hydro and Nuclear, which are both low-emitting sources, and the average [Electric Vehicle (EV)] driver in Canada can reduce their vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions by 60-90%.” Not only do they reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they perform great as well. Plus, EVs are less expensive to operate and much cheaper to maintain.

By Aniseh Sharifi

It’s important to shop around to find the perfect EV before you buy. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are doing your research

Two types of EVs:

There are two categories of EVs: Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and Hybrid.
BEVs are 100% powered by electricity with zero emissions. Hybrids are equipped with a small battery and a gasoline engine. The battery can accommodate between 20kms to 80kms (depending on the vehicle) before the gasoline engine turns on to carry the remainder of the trip when needed.

Range:

The two most important factors to consider about your EV are how long you can drive on a single charge, and how often you will need to charge. Whether you are a city driver or long-range commuter will determine how often you need to charge.

Charging Options:

There are a variety of charging options available to EV drivers.

The Home Charger: Just plug in your car overnight and take advantage of lower electricity rates.  There are different levels of chargers available, which determine how long it will take to charge. For example, Level 2 charging = 1 hour of charge will give you 30 to 60 kilometers of range. Most new condos now have chargers installed. If not, it’s only a matter of time. Ask your condo building on their plans to accommodate EVs.

Charging at Work: Companies can install chargers on the premises for their customers and employees to use. They may even be eligible for government incentives. Ask your employer and encourage them to prepare for EVs.

Public Chargers: Check your nearest mall, supermarket, or coffee shop because chargers are popping up everywhere. Most cars are equipped with the adapters you need to plug-in at any charging site. Some chargers are pay as you use, others are free but may only be available for a certain amount of time.

Models:

There are a variety of models available now that are offered by many manufacturers including Nissan, Tesla, BMW, Volvo, Ford, Kia, and Chevrolet. Depending on the type and price of the EV, there are a handful of government bonuses that may apply to you.

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