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Which Electric Vehicle should you buy?

Buying an electric vehicles (EV) is the way of the future. If you are looking for a new slick ride that is environmentally-friendly, there are a variety of well-built cars showing up on the market.

Picking through the plethora of EVs can be time-consuming and confusing, but considering a few main factors will help to narrow your search and find the perfect vehicle for you. The first thing you have to do is narrow down what type of EV you are looking for. There are several types of EVs, including Battery EVs Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles, Hybrids, and Fuel-cell EVs.

Battery EVs drive entirely on a battery and electric drive without a conventional internal combustion engine. They need a charging station and can also recharge their batteries through regenerative braking. Plug-in Hybrids run mostly on battery units, but are also equipped with an internal combustion engine that can recharge the battery or replace the electric drive if needed. Hybrid vehicles do not have a plug-in system and instead batteries are recharged from an electric motor driven by the engine in the vehicle. Fuel-cell EVs are the newest technology on the market and instead have a battery cell that creates energy from hydrogen and oxygen instead of a traditional battery charging pack.

Does that make sense? Next you have to consider how often you will be using the vehicle. If you drive a far distance, a Battery EV might not be the best option because it cannot drive more than 180 km without a recharge. A plug-in hybrid is a better alternative in this case because it has a back-up engine.

Your choice will also depend on the availability of charging stations in your region. If public charging stations are available, it is possible to charge a Battery EV during the day, but if not it may be better to have an internal combustion engine in the car for emergencies. Fuel-cell EVs were just released in February 2015 and there are currently only two hydrogen refuel stations in Canada. If you have money to invest though, this technology is due to become the future of EVs.

Currently, Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids lead the EV market. As the popularity in EVs rise in the next 10 years, Battery and Fuel-cell EVs will take over because these two types of EVs are fuel-saving and have low environmental impact. However, they are more expensive than the other options. At the Green Living Show this year, the Chevrolet Volt, which is a plug-in hybrid, won the 2016 Green Car Award.

The Chevrolet Volt is $25,720 and is available for up to a $7,500 rebate from the government upon purchase. The Volt allows you to drive 85 km on the battery and up to 675 km with a full charge and a full tank of gas. The vehicle is also very sleek and looks like a regular vehicle, which is appealing to a buyer who is new to the world of EVs. The Ford Fusion Energi is another Plug-in Hybrid that can drive 60 km and ranges from $23,673 to $39,280. The electric battery also has a plug-in capability to charge the battery using a 120-volt outlet, which gives it more accessibility.

The Tesla Model X is the most well-known battery powered vehicle and sets the bar for Battery EVs. The Model X is $100,300 and is the arguably the best EV on the market. It can drive 412 km because of a supercharger network that can charge in a matter of minutes as opposed to hours. This helps extend the reach of the battery powered EV substantially. The Nissan Leaf is another contender as a battery-powered EV and is $32,698. It can drive up to 172km with a fully powered battery. You can also start charging the EV remotely through an app on your phone when it is plugged in.

EVs are the way of the future and are the most worthy investment if you are interested in buying a car. These vehicles are environmentally friendly, cost-saving, and have a variety of features that leave their fuelled competitors in the dust. Looking through the different options has me excited for the future of cars. EVs only seem to get better and better as larger companies such as Tesla and Chevrolet invest in a greener future for Canada.

What is your favourite EV? Post in the comments below.

Should you look into an electric car? Yes!

Cutting down on carbon emissions is an important issue on Ontario’s environmental agenda, and electric vehicles are considered as a great long-term solution.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity, with 5,400 EVs registered in Ontario to date, according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO). Though public transportation, biking, and walking are the most sustainable forms of travel, people who choose to drive are being offered a green alternative that has great perks.

The initial cost for an electric vehicle can be daunting, ranging from the Fortwo Electric Drive at $26,990 to the BMW i8 at $150,000. The top selling electric car in Canada is the Tesla Model S, which costs $107,000.

Fortunately, Ontario provides an incentive to help people purchase these pricey vehicles. Up to a $8,500 rebate is provided to customers that have a qualifiable EV. The MTO provides a list of battery electric cars and plug-in Hybrid cars that are applicable for the rebate on their website.

Furthermore, the province is providing up to $1000 in rebates for a home-powered charging stations. An approved EV motorist will also receive a green plate that allows them to travel in HOV lanes as an added bonus.

There are currently two types of EVs  offered in Canada; battery electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric cars. Battery electric cars are powered 100 per cent by electricity. They have large battery packs that need to be charged at various charging stations. Plug-in hybrid electric cars are also charged by being plugged in but have smaller battery packs for shorter electric drives. A gas engine or generator will start to run on longer trips when the electric battery runs out.

Though EVs can be pricey initially, they are have great long-term cost savings because electricity is much cheaper than fuel. Emissions are relative to the specific EV that is purchased and Plug N’ Drive, a not-for-profit organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles, provides a cost comparison chart that shows how much carbon each vehicle would produce and what the equates to in dollar form. For example, the Tesla Model S creates  1.9 kg of carbon per 100 km, which costs $3.14. Comparatively, if the Tesla was a full gas vehicle, it would create 17.8 kg of carbon per 100 km and cost $9.86.

Electric cars also need less overall maintenance. “Electric cars use an electric motor, a durable technology with one moving part. In addition, electric cars don’t require oil changes, coolant flushes, mufflers or exhaust systems,” the Plug N’ Drive explains. “Bottom line… less money spent on maintenance means more money in your pocket.”

Currently, transportation is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the province. GHGs account for more carbon emissions than iron, steel, cement, and chemical industries combined.

Ontario is embracing the revolution of the electric car as a part of their new Green Investment Fund. Ever since the climate change conference in 2015, protecting the environment has become a priority for the country. The province has invested $20 million into building EV charging stations across Ontario.

“Ontario’s new Green Investment Fund offers exciting opportunities to revolutionize how we live, work, move and play as we fight climate change,” Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen R. Murray, said in a statement. “This initial investment is just the start of many more bold steps we’ll be taking to promote electric cars as a sustainable transportation choice and to reduce greenhouse gas pollution in other sectors.”