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Electric vehicles: the pros, cons, and everything in between

Is an electric vehicle (EV) worth buying? There are arguments for both sides. For most of us, the primary reason is avoiding driving a gas-powered vehicle. EVs emit no exhaust gases. But consider the energy and resources needed to produce a new EV and bring it to Canada.

Concerned about the environment?
One thing you can do with your aging gas-powered vehicle is to maintain and drive it efficiently as long as possible. How do you do that?

  1. Keep the tires inflated to the recommended levels.

  2. Accelerate and brake gently, planning for the traffic and obstacles 50m in front of you.

  3. Drive within the speed limits, aiming for an IC engine’s sweet spot of between 50 and 80kmh.

EVs lower energy costs.
EVs run on electricity, which is cheaper than gasoline. This study showed Canadians with EVs paid between 65% and 77% less per year to power their vehicles than owners of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
In many of Canada’s most populous areas, the price of electricity is lower at night when most of us aren’t on the roads. That’s the perfect time to fill up your EV.
EVs are more expensive to purchase than IC engine vehicles for several reasons. To start with, until recently, they were mostly built in smaller batches which means less volume discounting of materials. Governments around the world are encouraging their adoption. Canada is aiming to commit that all new car and truck sales must be zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
More production means lower prices. So, things are changing fast, and that change is only likely to accelerate. But it’s likely to take a few more years before we see parity. Moreover, despite the energy savings, it still may take years to pay for that initial difference in price.

Government funding helps offset those higher prices.
Canada’s federal government offers rebates on EVs of up to $5,000. And as of July 2023, the following provinces offer further incentives in the thousands: BC, NB, NL, NS, PE, QC. Each province has its own ranges and types of vehicles it rebates. Some are partially electrified hybrids, others are not even cars. (NB rebates $750 on a home-charging station, NS $500 for e-bikes.)
Many Canadian cities offer cheaper, sometimes, free parking while charging. And so far, only Vancouver has a congestion charge. But it’s just a matter of time before other big cities with choking traffic congestion start experimenting with incentives for drivers to change habits. Free or cheaper access for EVs in the centre of town is a powerful one.

One last consideration for buying an EV is a unique driving experience.
If you love driving, test-drive an EV before buying your next vehicle. All fully electrified vehicles (not hybrids) require a huge battery because that’s functionally what replaces the gas tank. Being designed from the ground up, these batteries were flattened into rectangles and laid across the bottom of the chassis. Being heavy and low, the battery anchors the ride in sharp turns, seemingly defying the laws of physics.
Next, there’s no denying the acceleration of EVs. Lacking IC engines, EVs don’t have gears that take turns dragging you forward as you approach speed. An EV is either on or off. Simple. So if you need power, it delivers almost maximum torque immediately. Just thrust down on the accelerator.
Which leads to the longer answer to our first question: yes. But the next question is when. Given all that’s here, is this the right time for you? If you do buy an EV or any vehicle, get a car insurance quote here.

General information not about PC® Insurance home and auto coverage is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. PC® Insurance does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.

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