Canadians across the country are considering an electric vehicle (EV) for their next car purchase. By forgoing fuel, they hope that an EV can satisfy their need for a car and offer a more energy-efficient experience. However, can you save money buying an electric vehicle rather than a regular car? Let’s find out.
The Cost of An Electric Vehicle in Canada
Contrary to popular belief, all electric vehicles are not much more expensive than regular cars. For example, take the electric SUV Chevrolet Bolt EUV LT. It features a 65 kWh battery and lets you charge through a regular wall outlet, a Level 2 or a Level 3 DC charger. The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt LT is only $41,569.
When looking at gas vehicles similar to EVs, the price might be lower. For example, the Mazda 3 Sport GX with automatic powertrain is a similar car to the Chevrolet Bolt, starts at $26,569.
Right away, you save $15,000 by buying the gas-powered car. Or did you?
New Versus Used
A good option if you want to lower your cost is buying a used EV instead of a new one. Depending on how old the car is, you could save from $5,000 to $60,000 if you decide to opt for a used car.
A used Chevrolet Bolt is priced at around $30,000, which would allow you to save approximately $11,000 on your purchase. Plus you can still finance your used car.
Need a rebate? Well, provincial governments, like those in Quebec and British Columbia, have trade-in or purchase incentives for used EV cars. That can bring the cost down by $4,000 or more.
Financing An Electric Vehicle Versus A Gas-Powered Car
You can finance an electric vehicle the same way you would a regular car. Some dealerships offer exclusive financing contracts with a specific bank. However, car loan interest rates can vary depending on your financial situation.
However, you can still save money by buying an EV because of federal and provincial government incentives.
Government Rebates and Incentives
To help Canadians purchase new electric vehicles, which tend to be pricier, the government created plans to make it more affordable. This includes the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program and tax write-offs for businesses.
The iZEV program offers point-of-sale incentives for consumers who buy or lease eligible electrical vehicles. You can find a list of the vehicles that are eligible by visiting the government website. Do note, this incentive is limited in supply and must be purchased or leased for at least 12 months.
The Chevrolet Bolt EUV LT is on this list of eligible vehicles. The offered incentive for a purchase or a 48-month lease is up to $5,000! The iZEV rebate is applied at the point of sale by the dealership. As a result, the initial price of the Chevrolet Bolt of $41,459 could go down to $36,459.
That makes buying a new EV more affordable. So what about fuel and charging?
Cost To Charge An EV
The cost of charging your electric vehicle depends on the province you are in as well as the kWh fuel capacity of your car.
If we use the Chevrolet Bolt, its charging capacity is 65.0 kWh. With a Level 3 DC charger, it takes under 90 minutes to get 100% charged. Even if you used a public DC charger with an hourly rate of $15, your fill up cost you $22.50.
A Level 2 charger is slower than a Level 3 DC charger. A Level 2 charge might take 7 hours. There are free and paid stations all over Canada, even in a mall parking lot or on the street. Plus the cost is as affordable at $1 per hour or $2.50 per charge. That means your fully-charged EV battery costs you $7. Wow.
To charge your EV at home, you simply need to know the kWh hour rate in your region. Chevrolet is even pitching in to help new EV buyers by offering to cover the installation of a Level 2 home charger.
If not, you can buy your own charger for your house which usually costs between $800 and $1,000.
Cost To Fill Up With Gas In Canada
The cost of filling up your gas vehicle in Canada can vary. Let’s take an average cost of $1.61 per litre.
Furthermore, a 55 litre fuel tank can cost you $88.55 at the average price of $1.61 a litre. If you fill up your car once a week for a year (52 weeks), its annual fuel price would be around $4,604.
Of course, the number of times you fuel it depends on how far you drive and your driving style.
The Bottom Line - Choose What Matters
You can save money with an EV. It just doesn’t happen right away all the time. There are multiple factors to lower the cost of your electric vehicle. What you need to figure out is how important it is to buy new, how much your time is worth and if gas prices will go up or down.
As mentioned above, buying a new EV, even given the $5,000 incentives, still costs more than a gas-fuelled equivalent. But a used EV is only $30,000.
Furthermore, a full charge for an EV can cost very little compared to a traditional vehicle at current gas prices. Compre $7 a week to $88.55.
Canada is also putting more charging stations all over the country.If you can charge your EV overnight at your place or nearby, you might get even lower kWh rates. Plus, you must remember that gas prices fluctuate a lot more than your hydro rate
So, depending on your priorities, you can save money on an EV. How about that!