Quite a few people in Ontario have and currently are considering an electric vehicle. Thanks to the growing popularity of electric cars, it’s understandable why anyone would wonder if now is a good time to jump on the trend.
There are several cost variables with electric vehicles which you definitely need to know about before making the transition. While some help justify the cost of buying an electrified model, others actually work against it.
Once you’ve read through the different variables, you’ll be able to make a more educated decision of whether or not to buy an electric car.
A growing number of Canadians, including residents of Ontario, are seriously considering an electric vehicle. As the technology advances, they seem like a more practical form of transportation. Electric cars don’t generate the noise you hear from traditional vehicles. There are also no tailpipe emissions, which could lead to less pollution in populated areas.
Still, electric vehicles are cutting-edge enough that it’s understandable why you would be hesitant. An analysis of the costs associated with buying and operating an electric car in Ontario will help you make an educated decision.
One of the first things anyone will notice about electric vehicles is that they tend to be more expensive than the equivalent models with an internal combustion engine. That’s off-putting to many people since they begin questioning if owning such a vehicle is just a financial burden.
It used to be that electric cars were playthings for the rich, but big leaps in the technology have changed that. Still, for some shoppers, the high cost of an electric car is something that will keep them from actually buying one.
Another way to cut down on the cost is to buy a used electric vehicle. Certain models depreciate in value quickly, so getting one that’s only a few years old translates into big savings.
Cost of Charging
When it comes to the cost of charging your electric vehicle in Ontario, things are complicated. What time of day you plug in your car has an effect on the price of the electricity. Exactly what those rates are depends on your provider.
Speaking of electricity providers, Ontario has more than other provinces in Canada. That means the cost of everything from just getting power to a building to what you pay for electricity service varies greatly.
Thankfully, Ontario has worked to reduce electricity rates in recent years. In 2017, the province cut electricity prices by 25 percent by eliminating the provincial portion of HST. Overall, if you live in a rural area versus an urban center in Ontario, your electricity rates are pretty high.
Despite those factors, consider that gas and diesel prices fluctuate constantly. Electricity rates stay pretty much the same, but changes at the pump can happen at any hour. While fuel costs have been low for some time, it wasn’t that long ago everyone was dealing with steep prices at the pump. Switching to an electric car helps keep these costs predictable.
Keep in mind that not all electric vehicles are equally efficient. Natural Resources Canada not only does fuel economy ratings, it also provides consumption ratings for electric cars. You should check out the different options you’re considering through the Natural Resources Canada website, so you have all the efficiency ratings. This will affect how often you plug in the car and how much electricity it will consume.
How much you drive has a big impact on the savings you enjoy with an electric car. The more you drive, the more likely going electric could translate into more money in your pocket, thanks to lower operational costs.
One important consideration to consider is the cold. Electric cars in general don’t perform well in the dead of the Canadian winter. Range and efficiency might be negatively impacted, which is a big drawback.
You might decide that charging your electric car at home is convenient, but the regular wall plug in the garage isn’t powerful enough. There is the option of having a home charger installed, which can dramatically decrease how long you need to keep your ride plugged in to fully replenish the battery.
The charger itself can cost several hundred or even a few thousand dollars, depending on the brand. In addition, you’ll need to pay an electrician to install the charger. Remember that the charger will need some maintenance in the future, like any home appliance.
If you really want to go green and get electricity through solar panels mounted to your house, that increases the initial cost. Like with the home charging station, a solar setup should be installed by a professional.
One area where electric vehicles really shine is maintenance. They actually require very little when compared to traditional cars, so that means you spend less to keep them running properly.
With electric vehicles you need to maintain the tires by having them rotated and balanced regularly, plus keeping the air pressure at the recommended level. You also need to change the brake pads and perhaps the rotors when they wear out. Windshield wipers are still something you have to swap out. You’ll need to refill the washer reservoir periodically, plus wash and wax the car as well as clean the interior often. Beyond that, there’s not too much else.
One big concern people have with electric cars is the batteries. While they are quite expensive, most automakers and electric vehicle owners report that the batteries rarely if ever need to be swapped from the cars. Keep in mind that with a traditional vehicle, blowing the engine and paying for a replacement is similarly expensive and a rare event.
You don’t need to do oil changes, worry about timing belts, or pay to have the valves adjusted. The electric motors have few parts, and they are usually incredibly reliable. That means fewer trips to the repair shop each year, which is a nice change of pace.
The technology around electric vehicles is changing rapidly, and that in turn could have a huge impact on the cost effectiveness. Just a few years ago, electric cars were pretty much out of reach for the average shopper, but today that’s no longer the case.
As an increasing number of drivers switch to electric vehicles, the cost of doing so should decrease even more. This is why it’s critical you do current research before taking the plunge and switching to an electric car, because the changes are coming rapidly at this point.