Canada’s EV infrastructure is improving rapidly, which has motivated several car owners to make the switch. However, EV automakers feel that customers need just a little push and are offering several incentives and free charging is one of them.
Here’s a list of Canada’s top EV automakers and the incentives they’re currently offering:
People who purchase the 2022 or 2023 Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV will receive a complementary installation of a Level 2 Charging outlet. Those who don’t want the outlet or already have one installed are eligible to receive a $750 credit.
Mazda only has one electric vehicle – the 2022 Mazda MX-30, but their offer’s very promising. All owners will get a $500 credit for ChargePoint, which can be used towards public charging or in-home ChargePoint Level 2 charger.
People purchasing any of Audi’s Q4 e-tron, Q4 e-tron Sportback, e-tron, e-tron Sportback, e-tron GT, and RS e-tron GT will get four years or 1,400 kWh of DC Fast Charging sessions at Electrify Canada stations.
Volkswagen ID.4 owners get three years of unlimited charging at Electrify Canada chargers and e-Golf owners will receive two years of complementary 30-minute charging sessions.
Another automaker teaming up with Electrify Canada, Porsche Taycan owners will receive three years of complementary 30-minute charging sessions. The EV has superfast charging capabilities, so you’ll be able to charge the car quickly within 30 minutes.
Lucid Air is set to release in 2023 but customers who have reserved the car will get two years of complementary charging at Electrify Canada.
Cadillac Lyriq owners will receive a free EV charger installation service, but they have to purchase the 11.5-kW Ultium PowerUp unit. To qualify for this offer, they have to take the car’s delivery by the end of 2022. If you already own an EV charger, you’ll receive a $750 credit towards FLO public charging stations.
Other EV automakers are working on offers for Canadians
Hyundai offers a two-year unlimited charging program through Electrify America for US customers but confirmed that they are working on a partnership for Canadian customers. Genesis, Nissan, and Mercedes-Benz made similar statements but didn’t mention any timeline. Ford, on the other hand, just raised the price of their F-150 Lightning.
Making the switch to tackle rising gas prices
A survey by BMW Group Canada revealed that 79% of Canadians are worried about the rising gas prices, which is expected to hit $2/litre in June 2023. 25% of Canadians plan to switch to electric vehicles in the next two years. Several Canadians also care about the environment and sustainability, which is a major deciding factor for them to make the switch.
Buying a car is a big decision, especially if you’re switching from a traditional gas car to an electric one. Electric vehicles are quickly becoming more popular in Canada and offer several advantages including low to zero emission, low maintenance, and ability to charge the car at home. But is an EV right for your lifestyle?
Here are 6 questions you should ask yourself before buying an electric vehicle:
1. Would you like a quieter driving experience?
Electric vehicles are so silent that companies had to make a fake sound, so passersby are aware. Even then EVs are quieter compared to gas-powered cars. If you enjoy a quieter driving experience, especially on our scenic Canadian roads, this is the way to go.
2. Do you have an EV charging station near your home?
EVs need around 8 hours to charge completely. It’s likely that you’ll be sharing the EV charger with your neighbours in a condo or your nearest charging station. Before you decide on the purchase, find out the number of compatible stations in your area, their charging speed, and reviews on Google.
3. How many kilometres do you plan to drive every week?
Electric vehicles offer anywhere between 160 to 450 kilometre driving range per charge. Tesla offers the best range but it’s also quite expensive. Earlier models from Nissan and BMW have the lowest range.
These are just estimates and your car’s actual driving range will depend on battery age, ambient temperature, use of vehicle climate control, and terrain (highways, uphill, downhill, suburban areas, and more).
4. Do you know EVs experience significant range loss during winters?
Expect your car’s battery capacity to reduce by at least 30 percent during our brutal Canadian winters. To protect the battery from rapid decline, you’ll have to partially heat the battery when the car’s charging. You’ll also need to invest in winter tires, especially if your car’s front drive.
5. Would you have access to backup transportation?
Like we mentioned earlier, EVs need a lot of downtime for charging. There will be times your car won’t have enough power to drive. It’s crucial to have backup transportation like public transit or even a second car, so you can commute wherever you want to go.
6. Can you install an EV charger at home?
Most condo management don’t allow installing an EV charger. There are a few that are allowed in Vancouver. However, many condos now offer charging stations that you’ll share with those EV owners in the condo. If you live in a house, you can install one at home. Chargers start at $995 (plus tax) and can operate at a temperature range of -40°C to 50°C. It provides 7.2kW of power and can charge most standard electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids in approximately eight hours.
Buying a pre-owned EV will save you some money. Used Tesla cars work the best but look specifically at the battery capacity and driving range.
Everyone around you is talking about rising costs of living and gas prices. A recent survey by Clean Energy Canada, a program at Simon Fraser University, confirmed that switching to an electric vehicle can save you tens-of-thousands of dollars over its lifetime. Climate change was ranked as one of the top pressing issues for the next decade by Canadians across age groups.
While electric vehicles aren’t a solution for either rising gas prices or climate change, they definitely are a big help. Clean Energy Canada compared total ownership costs of popular electric car models against well-known traditional car models. They assumed eight years of driving and up to 20,000 km of driven distance every year.
Breaking down the results
Hyundai Kona, Canada’s second-most selling EV in 2021, performed the best. When compared to a gas-powered car in the same price range, Kona has a lifetime cost of $56,000. On the other hand, the gas version’s lifetime cost is $71,100. The report considered the gas price at $1.35/litre, which was the average in 2021 but still extremely below the current British Columbia rates.
Bulk of your savings will come from saving on gas but electric vehicles also require less maintenance. For example, the maintenance cost of a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt costs half compared to a gas-powered 2022 Toyota Corolla hatchback.
According to a report by KPMG, 60 percent of Canadians feel it’s time to buy an electric car and 51 percent say they’ll never buy a gas-powered vehicle. Rising gas prices and climate change have been two important catalysts driving Canadians towards EVs. 48 percent confirmed that their next car will be an electric one.
Electric vehicle industry faces a huge challenge
While the demand’s quickly rising, Peter Hatges, communications director with Clean Energy Canada, is worried about the supply. You can’t go to a dealership, buy the car you like, and drive home in it. There’s a few weeks to months of waiting until you receive your electric vehicle.
The federal government announced a requirement this week that by 2030, 60 percent of total cars sold must be electric. By 2023, all vehicles are expected to be zero emission. On April 4, 2022, the government announced to contribute $259 million to General Motors’ efforts to revitalize its auto manufacturing operations across Ontario and boost EV production. They are expected to make similar contributions throughout the year.
GM has invested over $2 billion until now and will use the federal contribution towards the assembly plant in Ingersoll where they’ll start producing electric commercial vans later this year. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, mentioned in a press release that the contribution aims at generating more jobs for Canadians, more clean vehicles, and better economic growth.
Toronto recently signed a five-year pilot program to replace trucks and vans with e-cargo bikes to reduce traffic and pollutants. Following Toronto’s footsteps, several Ontario cities are planning to switch to adopt the same strategy.
Weighing just over 120 kg, these cargo e-bikes will be fitted with a delivery box. Downtown Toronto will be the first one to test around 20 – 40 e-bikes. They will be allowed to utilise commercial loading and delivery parking zones, which are usually used by delivery vans and trucks.
Implementing new provincial regulations
Aimed at reducing traffic and pollution levels, the Ontario government has asked participating cities to modify their bylaws to allow cargo e-bikes in bicycle lanes. Back in 2020, Toronto tested pedal-assisted e-bikes weighing under 120 kg. It was a successful pilot that helped businesses fulfil local orders during the pandemic.
Ottawa and London are already a part of the new pilot program having joined it back in September 2021. All major cities in Canada face two issues in common – traffic and unavailability of parking spots. In the GTA and Hamilton area, transportation is responsible for 34 % of total emissions.
With Canada’s rapidly growing e-commerce industry, private delivery companies have shown great interest in e-bikes. These include Canada Post, Purolator, DHL, Fedex, and Penguin PickUp.
Potential for bigger cargo e-bikes in Ontario
The new program with e-bikes weighing 120 kg was introduced after the success of smaller cargo e-bikes in Toronto. The definition of cargo e-bikes will keep changing throughout the pilot as more features are added to them.
Currently, an e-bike is an electric-powered bicycle with minimum speed of 32 km/hr and maximum output of 1,000 watts. They also must have a box or platform that can be used to transport packages or larger personal items. They are currently not allowed on highways.
Nazzareno Capano, manager of transportation policy and innovation at the City of Toronto, mentioned in an interview that with bigger storage capacity and increased flexibility, cargo e-bikes can become a permanent part of the city’s transportation.
Monitoring the pilot’s success
The pilot will monitor parking accessibility and overnight storage options of the cargo e-bikes. The program will go through several modifications until 2026 (when the pilot ends) and also assess how it is benefitting the locals, cities, and private companies. Zero-emission vehicles are the future of e-commerce delivery in Canada. It is not only a sustainable choice but also makes Canadian cities more liveable.