What are the different types of EVs?
Fully electric vehicles
Fully electric vehicles, also called battery electric vehicles (BEVs), are powered by an electric motor, instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE). A fully electric vehicle is charged by being plugged into an external electric outlet, and emits zero emissions when it’s driven.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) use both an electric motor and an ICE. The electric motor is powered by a battery, which is charged by being plugged into an external electric outlet. The ICE is powered by a fuel such as gas. Typically, the electric motor will power the vehicle until the battery is depleted, at which point it will automatically switch to use the ICE. PHEVs emit zero emissions when using the electric motor.
Hybrid electric vehicles
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), also known as self-charging hybrid electric vehicles, use both an electric motor and an ICE. The electric motor is charged by the fuel powered engine and regenerative braking. It may be worth noting that HEVs do not qualify for the federal government’s incentive program, as it cannot operate without the use of the ICE.
Are EVs better for the environment?
Electric vehicles have an environmental advantage when compared to gas-powered vehicles because they don’t rely on burning carbon-emitting fossil fuels for power. Fully electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions when they’re driven – which means fewer greenhouse gases escaping into the Earth’s atmosphere.
You might be wondering about the environmental impact of manufacturing EVs. While it’s true that making an EV produces more emissions than a conventional car – in fact, more than a third of an EV’s lifetime emissions comes from manufacturing – a fully electric vehicle will produce fewer emissions over its lifetime because electricity is a lower-carbon fuel source than gas.
With that said, the source of electricity used to charge an EV will also have an impact on its overall emissions, as some grids emit more greenhouse gases than other.
Once an EV has reached the end of its usable life, its battery can be reused and recycled. Recycling old EV batteries to source critical materials like lithium, nickel and cobalt can help to further decrease an EV’s environmental impact over its lifecycle.
What’s the driving range of an EV?
If getting from point A to point B in your EV without running out of charge is your number one concern about EV adoption, you’re not alone. It’s possible to drive up to 400km in an EV, depending on the vehicle make and model, and the driving conditions of your journey. Considering that the average Canadian drives approximately 41km a day, running your daily errands shouldn’t be a problem in an EV.
How do you charge an EV?
Fully electric and plug-in hybrid EVs both require access to an external electrical outlet to charge. Depending on where you live, public charging stations may be available in your neighbourhood or condo building.
Many owners will consider installing an EV charger in their home. For speed and affordability, Level 2 chargers are a popular choice. The cost of a Level 2 charger starts at around $500, and you’ll need to consult a professional about getting it installed. Accounting for the cost of an at-home EV charger is an important factor when deciding if an EV is for you.Read our guide to installing an EV charger at home
What about charging your EV for long distance driving?
If you’re planning a road trip, it’s likely that your destination will be beyond the bounds of your EV’s driving range. So, how easy is it to find public charging stations on the road? There’s not one answer to that question, and it’s largely dependent on where in the country you’re travelling and how available public EV charging points are in that area.
While Canada’s EV charging infrastructure continues to grow, it would be advisable to plot the locations where you can charge your vehicle ahead of your journey, so you can travel with confidence. There are over 5,000 EV charging stations across the country, and the federal government’s Zero Emissions Vehicle Infrastructure Program, also known as ZEVIP, has committed $680 million to public EV charging stations installation by 2027, so this number will grow over the coming years.Find public EV charging stations
How much does an EV cost?
New EVs are available at a range of price points, with the Nissan Leaf being one of the most affordable electric cars on the market and starting at around $41,000.
If you plan to take advantage of the federal government’s Zero Emissions Vehicle incentive (iZEV) of $5,000, you will need to choose a vehicle that doesn’t exceed the set Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) limits:
- For passenger cars, the base model MSRP must be less than $55,000, and up to $65,000 with higher priced trims
- For station wagons, pickup trucks, SUVs, minivans, or vans, the base model MSRP must be less than $60,000, and up to $70,000 for higher priced trims
The information contained in this website is provided for illustrative and general information purposes only, and is not intended to provide specific financial or other advice, and should not be relied upon in that regard. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. We do not guarantee their accuracy and they should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC or any of its affiliates. Nothing in this website shall form the basis of or be relied upon in connection with any contract, commitment or investment decision whatsoever. The reader is solely liable for any use of the information contained in this website, and neither RBC nor any of its affiliates nor any of their respective directors, officers, employees or agents shall be held responsible for any direct or indirect damages arising from the use of this website by the reader.
Climate metrics, data and other information contained in this website are or may be based on assumptions, estimates and judgements. Many of the assumptions, estimates, standards, methodologies, scenarios, metrics and measurements used in materials available on this website continue to evolve and may differ significantly from those used by other companies and those that may be used by us in the future, including as a result of legislative and regulatory changes, market developments and/or changes in data changes and reliability. For further information, including on the assumptions, risks, uncertainties and other factors affecting climate metrics and data, refer to the “Important notice regarding this Report” section in RBC’s most recent Climate Report, which can be found on RBC’s website: https://www.rbc.com/community-social-impact/reporting-performance/index.html
The content of any websites referred to in this website, including via website link, and any other websites they refer to are not incorporated by reference in, and do not form part of, this website.