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January 6, 2023
Thinking about Buying an Electric Vehicle? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Recently, electric vehicles have grown in popularity, mostly because folks don’t want to spend an arm and a leg fueling up.
Electric cars are extremely popular, though some continue to have concerns about their range. These vehicles now travel further distances without issue, and charging stations are becoming more common across the country.
Electric cars are all the rage, and although some people couldn’t get from point A to point B in the past, newer models can go 350-600 km per charge.
There are two types of all-electric cars:
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEVs)
- Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEVs)
Battery electric vehicles don’t use gas or any kind of fuel. Instead, they contain at least one electric battery which powers at least one motor.
How do electric cars work?
All-electric cars using batteries are called battery electric vehicles, or BEVs. They contain an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine, just like gasoline-powered cars.
Owners use a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor. These must be plugged into a wall outlet or charging station and are referred to as electric vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE.
BEVs don’t emit exhaust from their tailpipes. They also don’t contain parts that are included in gas-fuelled vehicles, such as liquid fuel components and a fuel tank.
The key components of a battery-electric vehicle are as follows:
- Battery (all-electric auxiliary)—This provides electricity to power the vehicle’s accessories.
- Charge port—This allows the BEV to connect to an external power supply to charge its battery.
- DC/DC converter—This device converts higher-voltage DC power from the traction battery back to the lower-voltage DC power. This is used to run the vehicle’s accessories. It also recharges its auxiliary battery.
- Electric traction—The electric traction motor uses power from the traction battery pack. This motor drives the vehicle’s wheels. Some cars use motor generators that perform both the drive and regeneration functions, but not all of them do.
- Onboard charger—The onboard charger takes the incoming AC electricity supplied via the charge port and converts it to DC power for charging the traction battery. It also communicates with the charging equipment and monitors battery characteristics such as voltage, current, temperature, and state of charging while your BEV is plugged into your at-home input or an EV charging station.
- Power electronics controller: This unit controls the flow of electrical energy delivered by the traction battery. It manages the speed of the electric traction motor and the torque it produces.
As you can see, BEVs are quite streamlined and user-friendly. They are the most common choice for a good reason.
While fuel cell electric vehicles are quite innovative, they are still in their infancy and will likely need to become more mainstream before they’re a popular option.
They have power systems composed of numerous cells in a stack. These chemically combine hydrogen gas from the car’s tank and oxygen from the air, producing electricity.
How much do electric vehicles cost in Canada?
Brand-new electric cars generally start from the $35,000 mark, but you can sometimes snag a deal if you’re open to a secondhand vehicle.
You’ll want to ensure that it’s still in decent shape and has a reasonable range though, especially if you’re going for an older model.
You might get a discount if you purchase an EV in Canada, due to high demand and the pressing issue of climate change, EV rebates and incentives are often available.
Electric vehicles are more expensive up front, generally speaking, but think about how much money you will almost always save in the long term as a result of this change.
Discounts and incentives are often available through the Canadian government’s iZEV program: Hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrids are eligible for up to $5,000 discounts, and shorter-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles qualify for up to $2,500 off of the full price. Government rebates both federal and provincial often vary, be sure to check with your local dealership for full details.
The Nissan Leaf is widely regarded as the most affordable electric car in Canada.
What electric cars are available in Canada?
There are quite a few electric vehicles available for Canadian residents looking to make the shift.
The most affordable models in the country include
- Hyundai IONIQ 5—$44,999 CAD
- Hyundai KONA electric—$44,999 CAD
- Kia Niro EV—$44,995 CAD for the 2022 model
- Kia Soul EV—$42,995 CAD
- Volkswagen ID.4—$44,995 CAD
- Nissan Leaf—$37,498 CAD
- Chevrolet Bolt—$38,198 CAD
- Mini Cooper SE—$40,990 CAD
- Tesla Model 3—$59,990 CAD
If you are looking for a used vehicle, you may want to consider purchasing the following makes and models:
- 2011-2017 Nissan Leaf
- 2014-2019 Kia Soul EV
- 2015-2020 Volkswagen e-Golf
- 2017-2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
- 2014-2020 BMW i3
For consumers who are seeking a luxurious experience, you may want to consider the following electric vehicles:
- 2022 Tesla Model X—around $114,990 CAD
- 2022 BMW iX—$83,200+ CAD
- 2023 Audi e-tron—$70,800+ CAD
- 2022 Jaguar I-Pace—$69,900+ CAD
These electric vehicles are generally viewed as the most efficient:
- Tesla Model 3— $45,099 CAD, 132 MPGe combined city/highway. After you have paid for this vehicle in full, it will only cost you $635 CAD per year: Much less than frequent visits to the fuel pump with many conventional cars.
- Chevrolet Bolt EV—$38,198 CAD initial cost, 120 MPGe combined city/highway, yearly cost of $700 CAD.
- Hyundai KONA Electric—$700 CAD per year to charge, $44,999 CAD initial cost
If your primary reason for switching is avoiding the ridiculously high fuel costs, these are for you.
The following electric vehicles are generally regarded as the best in all of Canada:
- Chevrolet Bolt EUV
- Hyundai Kona Electric
- Ford Mustang Mach-E
- Tesla Model Y
- Kia EV6
- Volkswagen ID.4
- Mazda MX-30
- Ram 1500 Electric
- Rivian R1
- Bollinger B2
- Fisker Alaska
- Alpha Wolf
- Atlis XT Alpha
- Hercules Alpha
- Toyota Tacoma EV
- GMC Sierra Ev
If you want to ride in style without spending a small fortune at the gas pump, you might try out some sports cars. These ones are all the rage right now:
- Audi Q4 e-tron
- Dodge Charger Daytona
- 2023 BMW i7
- 2023 Cadillac Lyriq
Maybe you want to buy an EV, but not right now. If that’s the case, the vehicles coming out in the next few years or so might just be worth the wait:
- Acura ADX—Expected in 2024
- Five Bentley Models—Expected in 2025
- Cadillac Cestiq—Expected some time before 2025
- Canoo Pickup Truck—Expected in 2024
- Chevrolet Blazer EV—Expected in Spring of 2023
- Chrysler Airflow Concept—Expected in 2025
- Dodge eMuscle—Expected in 2024
- Fisker Pear—Expected in 2024
- Honda Prologue—Expected in 2024
- Honda and Chevrolet Compact SUVs—Expected in 2027
These electric trucks are just pure awesome:
- 2022 F150 Lightning— This vehicle allows you to reverse power your house during a power outage! First to the Canadian market for electric trucks without looking “electric”
- 2023 Hummer EV— The heaviest production vehicle ever made and it crab walks.
- 2023 Chevrolet Silverado EV— Sharing many of Hummer’s features including 4 wheel turning to reduce turning radius of your rig.
- 2024 Ram EV— Just announced and we like the looks of it. Packed with a crazy amount of cutting edge tech and features.
Living in Canada, you know just how fierce this country’s winters can be, especially if you live in the prairies. If you are simply looking for a vehicle as another option in a city, this might not be much of an issue.
Traversing the streets through major snow for folks who live in rural areas is no small feat. You’ll want to go for the following vehicles if you’re looking for something that can withstand the intense weather during the winter months:
- Tesla Model 3
- Tesla Model Y
- Ford F-150 Lightning
- Volkswagen ID.4
- Ford Mustang Mach-E
- Hyundai Ioniq 5
- Kia EV6
- BMW i4
- BMW iX
In recent years, electric vehicles have evolved significantly, and quite a few car companies are shifting away from the internal combustion engine in favour of being by electric, with most of their research & development efforts focused on that.
Do electric vehicles work in Canada’s cold winters?
The fast answer is yes. There is a myth around electric vehicles not working properly in the winter time and it’s simply not the case.
Sure the electric range will be reduced depending on how cold the temperature gets, however, the same holds true for gas and diesel vehicles losing efficiency in the cold as well.
Which electric vehicles have the longest range?
A common complaint amongst consumers is that electric vehicles do not have an extremely long range compared to gas-powered cars. Fortunately, BEVs can now travel further thanks to developments in recent years, and more charging stations are popping up across the country, so this is less of an issue than it once was.
That said, if you are someone who regularly commutes long distances or simply wants to have the option to go on an extensive road trip in your car, it may be worthwhile to invest in an electric vehicle with an exceptionally long range.
The following EVs have the longest ranges:
- Ford Mustang Mac-E—372 miles / 598 km
- Tesla Model 3—374 miles / 601 km
- BMW iX—380 miles / 612 km
While these ranges are far, you’ll want to keep in mind that some charging stations work better than others, so you’ll likely need to prepare ahead of time to avoid getting stuck in a remote area without a working vehicle.
Most newer EVs have range estimations and a handy feature that’s based around the built-in GPS to help share the next available charge spots based around your remaining charge.
That said, these ranges are exceptionally good, so you’ll probably be just fine, as long as you ensure that you are on a route with more than enough charging stations. Your best bet is almost always to go ahead and charge your car at home before you leave, just to be safe.
Are Electric Cars Worth It?
In recent years, electric cars have grown in popularity. EVs save money long-term even though they are generally more expensive upfront, and, most recently, a lot of customers have been doing whatever they can to avoid extremely high prices every time they fuel up at the pump.
While there has been a major cultural shift toward electric cars, and many are encouraging everyone and their dog to purchase one, the reality is that whether an electric vehicle is ideal for you will depend on your lifestyle.
Before investing in a new—or new to you—electric car, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you already have a working vehicle with good gas mileage?
- Are you in a healthy place financially to invest in a new vehicle?
- Is the upfront cost of an EV worth it for the money you will save in the long run?
- How often do you actually use your car?
- How far do you drive on a regular basis?
- Would it be worth it for you to invest in an EV with a longer range?
- Would an EV with a longer range meet your needs?
- How long are you willing to wait for your car to charge?
- Would it be worth wearing out your gasoline-powered vehicle before investing in a brand-new EV?
- Would a used EV meet your needs?
Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety Is A Thing Of The Past
Range anxiety is a thing of the past. Currently, battery electric vehicles have a range of 160 km to well over 650 km, depending on the make and model you purchase.
Two prime examples of long-range EVs available in North America:
- 2022 Lucid Air with 836km / 520 miles range
- 2022 Tesla Model S with 651km / 405 Miles range
With newer models almost always have longer ranges than older ones and all manufacturers trying to electrify 100% of their makes & models.
Compared to gas-powered cars, EVs are relatively low maintenance. You’ll have to charge your electric car at home using standard 120-volt or 240-volt house plugs. Electric charging stations are also available in more areas than anywhere before.
In fact, Petro-Canada created Canada’s first coast-to-ocast EV fast charge network, allowing battery electric vehicles of nearly any range, easily get from Victoria, BC to Halifax, NS with fast charging stations available every 250km or less.
Electric Vehicle Charge Points Are Everywhere
Electric vehicle charge points are available practically everywhere in Canada.
It’s not as hard as it used to be to get around.
Travelling from Cold Lake to Edmonton (297 km) or Bonnyville to Calgary (546 km) absolutely can be done on a single charge these days in an electric car.
In fact, there are multiple charge points available in the Lakeland.
Even the Town of Bonnyville recently applied for Electric Vehicle Charging Program grant.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charge Stations in the Lakeland, AB
Although the Lakeland is a hub for oil and gas in Canada, it may come as a surprise that there are multiple EV charging stations available across the Lakeland.
- Best Western Bonnyville Inn & Suites: 5401 43rd St Bonnyville, AB T9N 0H3
- Town of Bonnyville Charge Point: 4705 49 St Bonnyville, AB T9N 1M4
- Town of Elk Point Office: 4914 50 Ave Elk Point, AB T0A 1A0
- Zarowny Motors Ford Lincoln 5508 50 Ave St. Paul, AB T0A 3A1
- Smoky Lake Arena Complex: 4612 54 Ave Smoky Lake, AB T0A 3C0
- Pumpkin Park: 246 W Railway Dr Smoky Lake, AB T0A 3C0
- Town of Smoky Lake: 56 Wheatland Ave Smoky Lake, AB T0A 3C0
- Waskatenau Community Center: 5104 50 St Waskatenau, AB T0A 3P0
- Main Street Hardware 4420 Railway Ave Vermilion, AB T9X 1G1
- Webb’s Ford 4118 51 St Vermilion, AB T9X 0B4
- Cornerstone Lloydminster – Tesla Supercharger: 7405 44 Street Lloydminster, AB T9V 2X1
- Denham Chrysler: 2302 50 Ave Lloydminster, AB T9V 2W7
- Peavey Mart: 7802 44th St Lloydminster, AB T9V 3B1
- Lloydminster Hyundai: 3854 44 St Lloydminster, SK S9V 2K8
It’s worth noting that there may be lithium mining making an uprise in Alberta
Lithium Ion is the primary battery fuel source for most electric vehicles and it’s worth noting that there may be an alternative industry growing in the resource sector in Alberta, including lithium mining from similar oil & gas sites across Alberta instead.
Check out E3 Lithium’s project that’s gaining a lot of attention and federal funding out of Leduc, which could turn into a much larger extra project all across Alberta to produce a high grade of lithium.
What does it cost to fuel an EV?
There are multiple charge points in the Lakeland that you can charge at either free or fairly inexpensively. Most EVs typically cost between $5-$15 for a full charge / “full tank”.
How long it will take to charge your EV to charge?
Actual time to charge will vary depending on your make and model and its ability to support receiving fast charge power levels. This grid below will help give you a better idea of how long it takes to charge EVs:
|POWER LEVEL||ESTIMATED TIME TO CHARGE FROM 30% TO 80%|
|25kW||40 to 80 minutes|
|50kW||30 to 60 minutes|
|100kW||20 to 40 minutes|
|200kW||10 to 20 minutes|
In case you are running a bit low on a charge, battery electric vehicles can use DC fast chargers at home that can provide over 160+ km of range in only 30 minutes or even Tesla Supercharger stations offer to charge up your EV with 320 km of range in 15 minutes.
Fuel cell electric cars are another option, but, it’s nothing to hold your breath over
Fuel cell vehicles are great for a few reasons:
- They have a range of 450 km to 650 km on one tank
- FCEVs can be refuelled in as little as five minutes thanks to hydrogen fuelling stations.
Major downsides of FCEVs?
- They never really caught on in Canada.
- These are only for sale in two cities in Canada. Spoiler alert, not available in Alberta.
- Canada only has six hydrogen fuelling stations:
- HTEC North Vancouver Station 2501 Westview Dr North Vancouver, BC V7N 3W9
- HTEC Burnaby Station 4505 Canada Way Burnaby, BC V5G 1J9
- HTEC Vancouver Station 8686 Granville St Vancouver, BC V6P 5A1
- HTEC Victoria 4001 Quadra St Victoria, BC V8X 1K1
- Hydrogen Technology and Energy Corp 4333 Autoroute Chomedey Laval, QC H7P 6C6
- Esso Harnois Groupe Pétrolier – Hydrogenics 5105 boul. Wilfrid-Hamel Ville de Québec, QC G2E 2G8
The switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles can be a major adjustment for car lovers and automotive enthusiasts alike, but there are ways to ease the transition.
Take the Dodge muscle car—Dodge Charger Daytona SRI—which is similar to a model going on sale in 2024.
Like its Hellcat predecessors, there will eventually be an 800V SRT that will be announced, exceeding 1000hp and still shred tires like nobody’s business. It even mimics the sound & vibrations of a roaring engine so you can still feel the same excitement you’re used to!
You shouldn’t be afraid to make the change, save on gas, and get a shiny new electric toy of sorts if you’re ready to purchase a new vehicle.
So if you end up shredding tires showing off how fast your EV accelerates a little too hard, and end up denting your new electric vehicle, be sure to bring it by for an estimate.