Electric vehicles and charging stations in Vancouver — a breakdown

ev saving in vancovuer

If you live in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland, you might remember (how could you not) when the cost of gas reached $1.75+/L earlier this year. I think we are all still recovering from the shock and pain of filling up at those prices.

Gas prices have come down slightly since then, but there’s still a sense of worry — we’ve seen traffic jams around gas stations offering gas for $1.30/L. All this is to have really made a case for people to purchase an electric vehicle (EV), which have been selling at an “astonishing” rate over the last few months in Vancouver. Couple the price of gas with provincial rebates for EV charging stations and for buying an electric vehicle, and there’s a clear reason why people are making the switch.

If you do purchase an EV, of course you will save money in gas. One thing to remember is that you will have to pay to charge the vehicle. But how does this compare to gasoline? How much will your electrical bill increase?

BC Hydro has given the following breakdown:

  • A 2016 Ford Focus EV driven 15,000 km/year or 40 km a day = increase of $29 a month in electrical bill. Gas would cost more than $117 a month.
  • A 2016 Nissan Leaf SV/SL driven 10,000 km/year or 27 km a day  = increase of $14 a month in electrical bill. Gas would cost more than $62 a month.
  • A 2016 Tesla S (P85D) driven 20,000 km/year or 55 km a day = increase of $35 a month in electrical bill. Gas would cost more than $138 a month.

However, the cost to charge your EV at a charging station or at home could decrease even more soon. According to BC Hydro’s website, they are “investigating an EV-specific rate.”

If you need to charge your vehicle at one of the 90+ city-owned charging stations,  it is either free (!) or costs around $2/hr in Vancouver. If you decide to charge at home, you may need to install your own EV charging station, and you will have to decide between a Level 1, 2, or 3 charging station.

More and more people are installing their own EV charging stations. To give you an idea of how easy and popular it is becoming to install EV charging stations at homes and in apartment buildings, in March, 2018, the province set aside $1.85 million as part of its Clean Energy Vehicle Program for EV stations. Due to high demand, the rebates for home charging stations were fully distributed in under four months!

If you are thinking of buying an EV, it’s good to know that the federal government also recently released $300 million to be distributed in rebates to purchase an EV, with a person being able to claim between $2,500 – $6,000 off their purchase.

There is, of course, the fact that many people simply don’t want to be dependent on their fossil fuel burning car, and the government is taking pretty big steps to encourage that. If gas prices continue to skyrocket and rebates continue to be available, it’s hard to argue against the idea of buying an EV, especially if you are in the market for a new vehicle.

Of course, we love the switch to electric! Contact our certified electricians in Abbotsford or nearby areas if you have any questions