Why Drive an Electric Vehicle?

greencarvectorElectric Vehicles (EVs) are the way of the future...actually, it's safe to now say that they're the way of the present. The technology and charging infrastructure has improved vastly over the last few years, while costs have come down to the point that it is often now cheaper to choose an electric vehicle over a traditional gasoline-fueled car, when considering the whole life-cycle cost. As of February 2017, there are nearly 30,000 electric cars on the road in Canada (9000 registered in Ontario)...and growing.

Switching to an EV is cheaper in the long run. Avoid paying for gasoline, and your energy costs will be on your electricity bill, but you can charge in the evening at off-peak times or for FREE at many public chargers. As carbon taxes are levied on gasoline, you should be ahead in the long run. If you want the re-assurance of having gasoline back-up, you can purchase a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) that runs mostly on electric, but has a gas tank back-up for extra range, just in case.

car emissions graphic

Source: Independent study by Jim Feilders

Lower maintenance costs: EVs do not have internal combustion engines which require maintenance to the numerous moving parts – electric motors are much simpler systems. No more oil changes. No muffler systems to replace. No starter motors to replace (which can suddenly die in gas-powered cars and leave you calling for a tow truck). Usually no radiators, water pumps, or coolant hoses and fluids to worry about (which can suddenly overheat or spring a leak and leave you stranded on the side of the road). Usually no complex transmission systems. EVs and hybrids use regenerative braking systems to recover energy when stopping and using it to recharge the battery; this also has the added benefit of often greatly prolonging brake life since the brake pads don't have to work as hard, which can further reduce maintenance costs on your vehicle.

Less highway traffic: EV drivers also get extra perks and privileges, like less highway traffic; slide into the HOV/HOT lanes to beat traffic on the 403/QEW. (Note: special green license plate required. Learn more here.) Also, fingers crossed for more "EV/hybrid only" premium parking spaces popping up at workplaces, stores, parking lots in the future.

More storage:  Because there is no bulky gas engine under the hood as in a traditional gas vehicle, EVs often have an extra 'trunk' compartment in the front for storage where an engine would normally be.

footprint graphicGreatly lower your eco-footprint; drive with a clear conscience:  According to the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA), the largest contributor to climate change for the typical household is transportation. The electricity used to charge the vehicle in Ontario is from relatively clean sources now that Ontario has shut down its coal-fired power plants. Charge in the evening and you are most likely drawing mainly from Ontario's nuclear and hydro-electric power sources which produce little to no GHGs.

More range and charging infrastructure: Battery technology has vastly improved over the past few years, going a long way to address people’s concern over range anxiety. From the Chevrolet Bolt’s 383 km range to Tesla’s Model S’s 507 km range. EVs on the Canadian market across the board offered higher electric ranges in 2017. The Province is also investing in charging station infrastructure. There are currently over 500 Level 2 and a small number of Level 3 charging stations in Ontario today. Furthermore, the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) grant program will install electric car charging stations across Ontario at approximately 250 locations, making the EVCO network the largest public network of Level 3 stations in Canada. To date, EVCO charging stations have been installed at a wide variety of locations, including Tim Horton's restaurants, IKEA parking lots, Pearson International Airport, and at numerous municipal properties and businesses across Ontario. The specific location of each station can be found on the map on the EVCO web page or by visiting the Ontario 511 Traveller Information Service. There are also a number of handy apps to help you navigate and find charging stations while you are on the road, most notably PlugShare and ChargeHub.

Growing knowledge and demand have also increased awareness and helped establish EVs as the transportation option of choice. Plug N Drive’s EV Discovery Centre in North York, Ontario has EVs on hand to test drive and experience. In addition to information on EVs and incentive programs available. You can also check out the Driving EV Uptake in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area report here.

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, or will be soon, check out these new incentive programs that will encourage you to make the switch and Go Electric!

Available Incentives
Visit the Plug 'N Drive website to discover the various incentives.

Selection Tools for Green Vehicles
View BG's helpful cost analysis and EV comparison tool, to help you pick the right EV for you.

BurlingtonGreen's EV & hybrid survey/quiz
Test your knowledge of EVs and hybrids. We'll bet some of the facts will surprise you!

Plus, good information here on Ontario's long-term EV strategy.

How close are YOU to meeting Ontario's 80% emission reduction target by 2050?
Find out with this handy graph.


Stand up for sustainability. Take the lead in your community. Set an example: Be one of the first people in your neighbourhood to drive an EV, so others can see that it's doable and not so far-fetched to make the leap. People are more likely to switch to EVs if they know someone personally that has one and is happy with it and to whom they can direct questions. Help make EVs the norm – our collective future depends on it!

Visit the Plug'n Drive and GHEVA websites for more information on EVs.

BurlingtonGreen helped promote EVs at the 2016 and 2017 Burlington Downtown Car Show!