How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car in Vancouver?

cost electric car charge

With each passing decade, the damage done to the earth’s environment becomes more prevalent and irreversible.  It comes as no surprise that with every generation the importance and necessity of clean energy and green initiatives become more important.  Every generation is handed a disintegrating environmental situation that they must contain and repair before it becomes too late.  Luckily, the passage of time comes with advances in technology that can make energy clean and cost effective for the everyday consumer. The popularity of electric vehicles in Vancouver has grown tremendously over the past several years.  They have become more accessible to a wider consumer base, easier to use, more powerful and more efficient.  It’s all very new and exciting, but this excitement can muddy the water of what the actual costs will be.  A lot of people really don’t know how much it costs to charge an electric car in Vancouver.

Gas prices are easy to use as you see you amount roll on with the amount you are getting.  But gas prices are unpredictable, changing daily and often skyrocketing—as we’ve all seen them do—during long weekends when people are taking long drives to cottages.  Electricity is a much more stable source of energy.

As far as chargers in the home go there are three options.  The Level 1 a 120-volt regular home plug, just like the one used for a toaster or hair dryer.  Level one does not require a special charging station to be install, however the charging time is considerably slow.  Level 2 is the 240-volt charger, like the outlet used for your dryer.  It does require the installation of a charging station.  A Level 2 charger designed for one car can range from $400-4000 depending on the brand.  If you’re looking to switch your entire family over to electric cars, well then that might be falling a little bit more on the expensive side, as installation for a charging station that is able to charge more than one electric vehicle can cost any where from $2200 to $16 000.  The good news is that the installation does not need to be done by a specialized company.  Any certified electrical contractor should be able to install your charging unit.  But, these numbers are not really helpful when trying to figure out how much it will cost to charge your vehicle.  These are all just one-time payments for the plug you need to charge your vehicle.

Your annual cost for charging your electric vehicle at home can vary, depending on your type of vehicle and your driving habits.  To add a little bit of perspective, driving 20 000 km in an electric vehicle will typically cost you around $400-500 a year in electricity, which works out to less than $2 a day.  This may be a little bit more depending on how much you are using things like heating in the winter or air conditioning in the summer.  If you want to really track the amount of electricity you are using to charge your vehicle you can have a sub-meter installed for an additional cost.  Sub-meters give you a run-down of the electricity used for charging without being connected to your homes electricity account.  These meters range anywhere from $50-3000.  The more expensive sub-meters are the most accurate.  The province of B.C. offers several rebates for electric vehicle owners which include purchase of eligible charging station, including Tesla Wall Chargers, purchase of revenue grade meter, labour and construction costs for installation, electrical and other related permits.

This is all well and good in the comfort of your own home, where you can leave your car plugged in all night and have it ready for the morning.  The majority of concerns and questions about electric cars is where can you charge you car outside of your home and how much is this going to cost?  The city of Vancouver currently counts over 250 charging station in the city.  Around 175 of those are managed by the business they are located, such as shopping malls, hospitals and hotels.  The cost of these charging stations are typically paid for by the businesses that own them, meaning they are often free to use.

Another 75 are owned by the city of Vancouver.  These charging stations do have a fee.  In the city of Vancouver this fee is around $2 an hour, or a “session”, a considerably cheaper cost than Ontario where the fee ranges from $5-7 an hour.  These fees were introduced to increase turnover at the pumps.  The city of Vancouver noticed that more and more people were using free charging pumps as a makeshift parking spot, often leaving their car for hours.  The $2 an hour fee helps ensure that people will only charge their car for as long as they need, allowing everyone the chance to use the stations.  The city also offers fast-charging stations, charging your electric car if a fraction of the time.  These chargers are slightly more expensive to use, being around $16 a session to use.

If you are interested in electric vehicle charging station installation, please contact us today.