- What are the different types of EVs?
- What are the benefits of EVs?
- How far can an EV go?
- How do you charge an EV?
- Other resources
An electric vehicle or EV contains a rechargeable battery which powers an electric motor for propulsion. EVs can be recharged by plugging into the electricity grid.
There are two types of electric vehicles:
- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)
- A BEV runs entirely on electricity, using it to power an electric motor and battery, and must be plugged into an external source to fully recharge.
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)
- A plug-in hybrid uses an electric motor and battery that can be plugged into the power grid to charge, but also has the support of an internal combustion engine.
A special note on Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV): This website does not consider HEVs to be electric vehicles as they do not plug into the electricity grid. HEVs use gasoline and regenerative braking in order to power an electric motor and an internal combustion engine.
Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Fun to Drive
Electric cars are fun to drive! With instant torque and smooth acceleration, it’s a refreshing and exhilarating ride.
EVs cost as little as $320 a year to fuel. When compared to $2,400 for a gasoline vehicle*, those are big cost savings!
*Based on British Columbia gas prices and average driving assumptions.
Reduce Carbon Emissions
With no tailpipe, battery electric vehicles produce no harmful greenhouse gases. The only associated emissions after production come from upstream electricity generation within your grid, which can be little to none at all depending on the source.
British Columbia has a very clean electricity grid, with most of our power coming from hydro. But take note that electric cars are so efficient that they produce fewer emissions than gas vehicles regardless of how the electricity is made. Even in a coal-powered electrical grid, even accounting for the energy to make batteries, an EV is still better than a gas vehicle.
There are a variety of electric vehicle models available, each with diverse ranges and price points. With over 40 to choose from in Canada, there are several that will meet your individual needs. View the latest list here.
EVs have advanced technology, and many have mobile app integrations that provide information about the vehicle. The apps collect data that can tell you how far you can drive given your current battery charge, and even allow you to control your car by locking the doors or pre-heating the interior.
Gasoline engines are complex with thousands of moving parts. Electric vehicles, on the other hand, have minimal moving parts. With fewer moving parts, necessary maintenance is significantly reduced. EV owners save time and money in comparison to conventional vehicle owners.
Electric Vehicle Range
Range varies by vehicle, but most new battery electric vehicles have a range over 350 km. It’s also worth considering that most people live less than 25 km from work, so most modern EVs can meet the average commuter’s needs by plugging in just once or twice a week.
Curious about where an EV can take you? Click here to see maps showing how far you can get in an average EV in BC.
Still got range anxiety? Consider a Plug-in hybrid that you can gas up if you run out of charge.
How do you charge an EV?
Charging an EV is simple – you just need to plug it in! All electric vehicles come with a charge cable that connects to a normal household outlet. Most owners, however, choose to install a Level 2 charging station, using power supply similar to a clothes dryer – this adds over 30 km of range per hour charged. DC Fast Chargers are increasingly available in public, and operate at high voltages to add 300 to 600 km per hour plugged in.
Learn more about how to charge an electric vehicle here.
Electric Vehicle Incentives in BC:
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Connect with EV owners:
- Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA)
- Victoria Electric Vehicle Club
- Mid Island Electric Vehicle Association
- Comox Valley Electric Vehicle Association
- Transition Salt Spring
- Accelerate Kootenays
- Squamish Climate Action Network
- Peace Energy Cooperative
- Northern BC EV Group (Facebook)
- British Columbia EV Owners Group (Facebook)