Ottawa is ready for electric vehicles
Not only are EVs 70% greener than gas cars, they’re cheaper to operate and maintain. EVs also perform better, with quick acceleration, smooth handling and a quiet ride. And EVs are more affordable today with purchase or three-year lease incentives from the Government of Ontario.
Battery-electric vehicles (or BEVs) run 100% on electricity with a battery pack that powers an electric drive train. When depleted, the battery is recharged from a wall socket or a dedicated charging unit. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (or PHEVs) also have an electric motor and battery but use a gas engine when the battery runs low.
Hydro Ottawa is committed to advancing the adoption of EVs and to expanding access to EV charging stations as part of our overall Strategic Direction. And we are acting on our plan to meet this commitment.
In 2012, Hydro Ottawa joined Electric Mobility Canada, a national association “dedicated to the promotion of electric mobility as a readily available and important solution to Canada’s emerging energy and environmental issues.” And in 2014, we partnered with Pollution Probe to complete an “Electric Mobility Adoption and Prediction” study that examined the current and future impact of EVs on the Ottawa market and our city’s electrical infrastructure.
Hydro Ottawa has added EVs to our corporate fleet and has installed EV charging stations at our offices on Albion Road and Merivale Road. We are also working with the City of Ottawa, public organizations and companies to make EV charging stations available at more locations. Most recently, we collaborated with Tesla to install super-charging stations at the Rideau Centre.
Electric vehicles start from as low as $27,000 (before incentives) and most sell for $35,000 to $45,000. Electric vehicles come in different sizes from compact to midsize to SUV, with more than 35 makes and models currently available, and more being announced every year. And here in Ontario, the provincial government offers up to $14,000 in incentives on the purchase or three-year lease of an EV to bring an EV’s purchase price closer to that of a gas vehicle. A $1000 incentive is also available for installing an EV charger in your home. The average Canadian driver, travelling 20,000 km each year, can save as much as $2,000 per year on fuel alone.
EVs are also much cheaper to operate and maintain than gas cars, saving EV owners thousands of dollars over the EV’s lifespan. For example, battery-electric EVs cost up to 75% less to drive than a gas car, saving the typical EV driver $1,500-$2,000 every year on fuel.
According to Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation:
While charging overnight, EVs use electricity from the grid to warm and condition the battery so EVs start like a charm in cold weather. But extreme cold, –20⁰C or colder, can drop the range an EV can drive without charging, by 40 per cent because the EV must draw power to keep the battery warm and heat the car’s interior. Nevertheless, that’s still enough EV driving range on a single charge to meet the daily driving needs of most Canadians.
EVs must pass the same rigorous safety tests as gas cars and are fully licensed to drive on Canada’s roads and highways. EVs also offer the same comfort options in winter that gas cars do, such as heated seats and heated steering wheels.
Battery electric cars sold today can travel at least 120 to 200 km on a single charge, while plug-in hybrids and extended range EVs can travel more than 500 kilometres using a combination of battery and efficient gasoline engine technology. Since most Canadians drive 50 km or less per day, these travel ranges are well within the daily needs of most drivers in Canada.
Note that EVs don't run out of charge unexpectedly. As with gas vehicles, a dashboard display indicates the level of charge and the estimated driving range. EVs also perform more efficiently at stoplights or in traffic jams. When an EV stops, its electric motor doesn’t draw energy from the battery, but gas engines continue to burn fuel even when stopped.
All EVs come standard with a cord set that lets you charge the battery using a regular wall socket, also known as Level 1 or 110 volts charging. It can take 8 to 20 hours to fully charge an EV at Level 1.
Level 2 charging stations use a 240-volt system (similar to a clothes dryer or stove plug) and can fully charge a battery electric vehicle in about 4 to 8 hours and a plugin hybrid in about 1 to 4 hours. EV drivers in Ontario who received the provincial rebate on a purchased or leased EV, are also eligible for a rebate on a Level 2 charging station.
In addition to recharging at home, you can recharge your EV at publicly available charging stations. There are more than 500 Level 2 (240 volt) and a growing number of fast-charging Level 3 stations in Ontario today. Level 3 stations can charge fully charge an EV battery in about 20 to 30 minutes. That’s at least eight times faster than a Level 2 charging station.
Under the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) program, more than 140 Level 3 charging stations and almost 200 Level 2 stations have been installed across Ontario and more deployments are planned. Ottawa currently has nine Level 3 stations and six Level 2 stations installed, with more coming soon.
Throughout the province, charging stations are typically located in or close to major attractions, restaurants, shopping mall parking lots, businesses and municipal properties for in-city travel. The Level 3 or fast-charging stations are generally located along highways and other major roadways to ease inter-city travel for EV drivers.
Fuel consumption per 100 km
Price of gas3
Cost / 100 km$8.19
If you would like to install a Level 2 EV charging station in your home, here are some important facts to remember:
For more information about EV charging station installation, visit www.esasafe.com.
If you have already received the provincial rebate for the purchase of an electric vehicle, you are also eligible for a rebate to support the purchase of a Level 2 charging station. The rebate covers 50% of the purchase cost for the equipment, up to $500 and 50% of the installation cost by a Licensed Electrical Contractor and/or the Electrical Safety Authority’s (ESA) inspection cost, up to $500. The maximum rebate value for each charging station is $1,000. You can request one charging station rebate for each vehicle rebate you received.
You need to apply for the charging station rebate within three months from the date you bought your charging station and to provide proof of installation by showing your certificate of inspection issued by the ESA.To find out more about EVs, visit Plug’n Drive. This non-profit organization is a trusted and unbiased source of information on electric cars and charging stations.
Businesses that provide workplace charging stations gain a positive image, offer a highly valued service to their EV-driving employees, and reduce their environmental footprint. To encourage more employers and commercial building owners to install or lease workplace charging stations, the Government of Ontario launched the Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Incentive Program in January 2018.
The Program provides grants of up to 80% of the cost to install Level 2 chargers at workplaces or buildings, up to a maximum of $7,500 per charging space. The number of incentives you can apply for is based on the number of employees (at least 10 fulltime employees) and the number of dedicated employee parking spaces. Subsidized installations would not be required to allow free charging. However, charging stations are required to stay in operation at that building or workplace for five years.
Applications are currently closed as the initial program funds were exhausted in early March 2018. However, more funding may become available in the future. If you are interested in the program, please email WEVCIP@ontario.ca and you will be notified if the Ministry begins accepting applications again.
Note that all stations installed under the program, must be:
Several companies manufacture, sell and install charging stations that fit these criteria:
If you would like to install Level 2 EV charging stations for your employees, customers or tenants in your place of business, here are some important facts to remember:
With electric vehicles (EVs) becoming a more popular option for drivers, we are also seeing more and more public charging stations, generally called an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) being installed. This is true both in cities and along major highways where the installation of DC-Quick or Fast Charging (DCFC) stations has grown significantly.
Owning an electric vehicle (EV) these days isn’t any more complicated than owning a gasoline one. In fact, the argument could be made that it’s easier from a “fuel” perspective. While refueling gasoline vehicles require a stop at the pump to top up or fill the tank, the same can be accomplished with an EV by simply plugging it in.
Electric vehicles (EVs) have been a hot topic for the last little while; after all of this noise on the subject you might be left thinking to yourself “can they really compete with a regular gasoline vehicle?” The answer is yes. Yes they can.
As the technology associated with electric vehicles continues to develop, more Canadians are considering the switch to EVs. It’s 2018 and while we might not have the flying cars predicted by The Jetsons, the automobile has come a long way – or has it?