We see them more and more on the roads, electric cars are gaining in popularity. Maybe the thought of having one crossed your mind too. Having said that, is it good for your wallet? Here are the six advantages of buying an electric car and the things to consider before buying a 100% electric or plug-in hybrid car.
What are the advantages of buying an electric car?
Savings on the cost of recharging an electric car
One of the great advantages of the electric car is that it saves you money. This is because electricity is generally cheaper than gasoline. According to estimates from Natural Resources Canada, it could even cost up to 4 times less per kilometer driven.
The savings you could make per year. Driving 20,000 km in a compact electric car could save you between about $ 1,500 and $ 1,700, according to BC Hydro and Hydro-Quebec.
The amount saved depends on several factors, such as the price of gasoline and electricity, the number of kilometers driven, the car model and the technology used. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), for example, has two motors and consumes electricity for a portion of the trips and gasoline thereafter, to ensure greater range. A fully electric vehicle (EVE), on the other hand, consumes only electricity.
Savings on the cost of maintaining an electric car
Electric vehicles also cost less to maintain than gasoline vehicles. Depending on the type of car (fully electric or plug-in hybrid), there are advantages such as:
The absence or reduction of oil changes
The brakes last longer (because there is a regenerative braking system which wears down the brake discs and pads less). The structure of the electric motor is simpler, therefore, requires fewer changes of parts (such as coolant, oil filters or the timing belt) and visits to the garage.
Government subsidies for the purchase or rental of an electric car
Even though electric cars cost less in energy and maintenance, their selling and rental prices are often higher than gasoline vehicles. The good news is that the federal government is offering grants to individuals and businesses to encourage the adoption of electric cars. There are also several provinces that add their own incentives. They apply to the purchase or lease of eligible vehicles, the replacement of an old vehicle or even the acquisition and installation of a charging station. Since eligible amounts, programs and cars can vary by province and year or vehicle model, it is worth researching before buying or leasing.
Advantageous offers on loans and insurance for electric cars
Several companies are also offering incentives to switch to electric cars. Some insurers offer discounts on auto insurance models. There are also financial institutions that have set up advantageous auto loans on electric and hybrid cars. It is worth educating yourself when considering your auto finance options.
Privileges on the roads for electric cars
Some provinces, such as Quebec and Ontario, offer green license plates to holders of qualifying electric or plug-in hybrid cars. Depending on the region, they give access to certain privileges, such as:
Possibility of driving on reserved lanes
Free and reserved parking in several places
Free access to toll roads or ferries
The advantage of the electric car for the environment
Another advantage: the electric car does not emit greenhouse gases when it is in motion. According to Hydro-Québec, if we take into account the life cycle of a car (including the materials to build it), an electric car will emit 65% less greenhouse gases than a gasoline car for 150,000 km traveled. The longer the distance traveled, the greater the ecological advantage of electricity: after 300,000 km, that is 80% less greenhouse gas emissions.
It also depends on how electricity is produced in your province or territory. Electricity produced by a nuclear or hydroelectric power station does not have the same environmental effects as a coal-fired power station.
Another advantage of electricity: in addition to reducing environmental pollution, it reduces noise pollution created by combustion engines.
What are the other things to consider before getting an electric car?
Because electric cars are not yet the norm, there are some overlooked elements and questions one is not used to asking. Before purchasing this type of car, here are some things to consider:
The price. Their purchase price is often higher than for a gasoline car, but they cost less to maintain and fuel. There are also grants and incentives. Therefore, you have to weigh the pros and cons when it comes to budgeting.
Charging stations. Depending on the model of electric car, you need an accessible terminal or socket to recharge them.
Are there any on your usual routes? Will you need to install one at home?
The federal government offers an interactive map that lists charging stations across the country. When it comes to buying and installing a charging station at home, be aware that several provinces offer specific subsidies.
The duration of your trips. The range of electric cars is increasing, but they still need to be recharged regularly. Will the model you want allow you to make your usual journeys without having to stop to recharge it?
Battery life and pollution. Batteries get better, but do not last forever. They can also lose their effectiveness over time. Therefore, it is worth asking when you will need to replace it and how much it will cost you. As for the recycling of batteries: it is not yet optimal in many cases.
The availability of used electric cars. Because many electric models sell out quickly, you have to be patient, as the time to get one can be longer than for a conventional car. Their popularity also means that there are not many for sale in the used market, like those offered for sale by individuals.
The ban on gasoline vehicles. The federal government has announced that as of 2035, the sale of light gasoline passenger vehicles will be banned. Eventually, it will therefore be necessary to opt for the electric car.
Choosing an electric car can be beneficial for your finances and for the environment. It is also worthwhile to assess your needs and educate yourself on what it entails before taking action. To assess what this means for your budget, do not hesitate to make an appointment with financial specialists. For your questions, we are here.