Cost of an Electric Car in Canada

10 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Cost of an Electric Car in Canada отключены
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Cost of an Electric Car in Canada

As new electric cars make their way into the Canadian market, some wonder if green technology will drain wallets instead of the gas tank.

Before signing up on the waiting list for 2011’s new electric vehicles, such as the Ford Focus Electric, the Nissan Leaf, or the Chevrolet Volt, Canadians would do well to read the fine print.

Aside from the car’s price tag, an electric vehicle includes other expenses. Consider the cost of charging the battery, the battery’s lifespan and additional purchases.

Although Canada has some of the lowest energy costs in the world due to a ready availability of natural resources, costs are steadily rising. Even so, electricity will still beat the cost of gas.

Ian Forsyth, electric vehicle project manager for Nissan, estimated the Leaf’s cost-per-kilometre for Canadians.

Based on the average cost of electricity across Canada of $0.12 per KWh, the cost per kilometre would be 1.5 cents. It could be as low as 1 cent a kilometre in areas with low electricity prices like BC or Quebec or in areas with low overnight rates, such as Ontario, Forsyth wrote in an email interview.

A Chevrolet manager estimated a similar cost for the Volt and added that an electric car’s fuel costs six times less than gasoline.

Representatives from Ford, Nissan and Chevy noted that the exact cost of electricity per kilometer fluctuates depending on the cost of electricity in your area. Provinces determine this based on the time of day, the season and where you live.

Canada’s provinces and territories have electricity rates that range from 5.1 cents/kWh during off-peak hours in Ontario to 81.72 cents/kWh in parts of Nunavut (although automakers probably didn’t envision their cars traversing Nunavut’s frozen tundra). Visit Canada’s National Energy Board to see your province or territory’s rates.

Bear in mind that these prices do not reflect additional charges from the hydro supplier, such as delivery, regulatory charges, and taxes. Ontarians can visit the Ontario Energy Board ‘s website to calculate an estimate according to your supplier’s plan, which includes all of these charges.

The way you charge an electric car can affect the cost. Jason Eaton, corporate communications manager for GM, pointed out that using the 120V cord would take hours longer than using the 240V charging station. That means it could bridge different rate periods in regions with time-of-use-billing.

The cost of the charging station itself is a hefty one.

The Focus, the Volt and the Leaf will come with a 120-volt cord, but the 240-volt charging station comes separately.

Ford and Nissan and Chevy have yet to release the price, but Nissan’s charger costs about $2,400 in the U.S. (including installation). Chevrolet’s 240-v charger costs $495 US, without installation.

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How often will you need to charge your battery? That depends on the distance you intend to travel. Both the Focus and Leaf have a range of 160 km per full charge and the Volt has a range of 40-80 km on electricity and 500 km on gas.

But temperature and age can affect the battery’s performance.

Our Canadian winters will drain the battery faster than a winter in California. But in a recent press release, Ford states that the Focus Electric takes measures to increase battery life in cold weather.

On cold days, heated liquid warms the batteries, gradually bringing the system’s temperature to a level that allows it to efficiently accept charge, it reads.

The heater and air conditioner and acceleration rate can affect the battery, but not by much, Nissan says.

Battery life also limits its capacity. Nissan expects a battery to last about 10 years. Ford and Chevy say their batteries are designed to last the lifespan of the car.

It’s difficult to estimate the cost for a future replacement because prices will change over the years.

Luckily, the government provides some financial relief for electric car owners. According to Envrionment Canada. Ontario offers a $2,000 refund for electric or hybrid cars.

British Columbia offers a PST reduction for fuel efficient vehicles. Prince Edward Island advertises a maximum tax refund of $3,000 for a hybrid car.

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