How easy is it to get to electric vehicle charging stations across Canada?

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As gas prices continue to rise,We’ve heard your questions about electric vehicles (EVs). This is what you want to know.

How much does it cost to operate an electric vehicle versus a gas powered vehicle?

According to 2022 Analytics of the total cost of ownership of popular car models clean energy canadathe cost of each electric vehicle analyzed was lower – often significantly lower – than the cost of the gas equivalent, with only one exception.

An average electric car will cost as much as $5 to $12 to go from empty to full in Canada, said Joanna Kyriazis, Clean Energy Canada’s Clean Transportation Program Manager.

“You’re looking for about $16 to go 100 km [on gas] …where an electric car consumes about 20 kilowatts [hours] of energy to do the same,” said David Giles, electric vehicle technical specialist and founder of All Canada EVa Canadian group of experts for electric vehicles.

To move an electric vehicle 100 km, he said, the price would be closer to $2.

Most electric vehicles tend to have lower maintenance costs, in part because they have fewer moving parts than a conventional combustion engine. This means that they do not require an oil change to keep the moving parts lubricated.

EV parts also require fewer replacements. A standard battery pack lasts about five to eight years.

However, when electric vehicles require repairs, they may be higher than traditional repair costs.

How often do batteries need to be recharged?

While range can vary based on the vehicle, battery health and driving conditions, most electric vehicles now charge close to 400 kilometers, according to All EV Canada.

“It all depends on the driving styles,” Kyriasis said. For example, if you commute 50 kilometers every day, one charge can last up to eight days.

The charging port of the Chevy Bolt EV is compatible with multiple levels of chargers. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

However, it is not recommended to charge your EV to 80 percent, According to Green CarsElectric Vehicle Defense Kit, to make room for regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy into usable energy – if there’s enough room in your battery.

The group says you should also never let your EV drain completely to zero percent, which reduces overall battery life.

So if you own an EV, you may want to keep your charge somewhere between 30 to 80 percent to get the most out of your battery life.

“They are very close to their ranges,” Giles said when it comes to comparing a full tank of gas to a fully charged electric vehicle.

How long does shipping take?

The answer depends on the size of the battery and the type of charging method used.

There are three levels of electric vehicle charging:

  • Level 1: Uses a common 120V household outlet. This method works great for hybrid electric vehicles that have smaller batteries. Depending on the charger and battery size, this can take up to 20 hours to fully charge the EV.

  • Level 2: The most widely used daily charging method for electric vehicles. Charging equipment can be installed in your home. Charging a regular electric vehicle in this way can take up to six to seven hours.

  • Level 3: Also known as DC fast chargers. They can be found at highway charging stations and can charge an EV from empty to 80 percent in 30 to 45 minutes.

Watch | Explanation of the different levels of electric vehicle charging:

The different charging levels for electric vehicles

Daniel Britton, President and CEO of Electric Mobility Canada, explains the different levels of electric vehicle charging.

Daniel Britton, President and CEO of Electric mobility Canada.

How do I get to charging stations across Canada?

In counties like B.C. And QuebecThe charging infrastructure is already well developed, said Britton.

“Where it gets a little more complicated is when you live, let’s say, downtown Toronto or Calgary or Montreal for that matter, because some people can’t charge at home,” he said.

If you live in an apartment or apartment building and don’t have electric vehicle charging infrastructure, finding an outlet in an underground parking lot and keeping your electric vehicle plugged in overnight will help keep the car charged, Giles said.

As of May 2022, Canadian electric vehicle drivers can access more than 16,000 chargers at more than 6,000 public charging stations, according to the data One of Canada’s natural resources.

While most of the chargers available to the public are Tier 2 chargers, there are about 1,200 fast charging stations across Canada.

“About 80 to 90 percent of the charging is done at home when you have an electric car,” Britton said.

According to 2021 analysis From the readiness of electric vehicles in the 10 largest car markets in the world, Canada ranks eighth among the ten leading car markets. Analysis by Ernst & Young attributes the arrangement to low demand and an “inadequate” shipping infrastructure.

Unlike searching for gas stations, drivers looking for a charging station for electric vehicles may have to locate it on their phone using apps like ChargePoint and PlugShare.

“It’s a whole different way to search or try to find a charger,” Britton said.

As of 2021, Canada had about 0.06 publicly available chargers for every electric vehicle on the road, according to the International Energy Agency.

The drawback in Canada now, Giles said, is that highway charging stations don’t have enough charging devices.

“I will be at the charging station for 15 minutes – I will arrive at a charging station and there is only one charger and it is already in use,” he said.

“Tesla is a good example of what it should look like – they have 10 charging stations in their charging points,” he said. the problem? Only Tesla models can be charged at these stations.

Many electric vehicle drivers They expressed their frustration with the issue.

The Tesla electric car charging station is photographed in Surrey, British Columbia, on April 11, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

that Analytics Natural Resources Canada has suggested that we will need, on average, one charger for every 20 EVs by 2025, and after more electric vehicles take to the streets, the ratio will drop to about one in 49 vehicles by 2050.

In the long term, electric vehicle charging in Canada should be of a high standard, relying more on DC fast charging for public charging systems, the analysis indicated.

Do you lose battery in cold temperatures?

The short answer is yes, but it’s not much different from what you would lose in a gas powered car.

All electric vehicles suffer some degree of range loss in cold weather, according to A Report From battery analysis company Recurrent.

“Not all electric cars are equally cool,” Britton said. “Some are more efficient, some are less efficient.”

Just like batteries in cell phones, cold weather slows down the battery’s chemistry, which in turn reduces power for acceleration.

Electric vehicles also pull from the battery to either heat or cool the battery pack to keep it at a safe temperature. This energy used to maintain battery temperature also contributes to the loss of range.

However, gas-powered vehicles also lose fuel mileage in an effort to warm up the engine in cold weather at a similar rate.

Cold winter air is denser than summer air, which increases wind resistance which in turn increases fuel consumption by about 1.3 percent, according to Natural Resources Canada.

It becomes “difficult to run through the air with any car,” Britton said.

Watch | Do electric vehicles lose more range in winter than gas vehicles?

Do electric vehicles lose their range in winter more than gas-powered vehicles?

David Giles, EV technical specialist and founder of All EV Canada, talks about the range of electric vehicles in winter compared to gas-powered vehicles.

Can our network support it?

The answer now is yes, but in the long run, changes will be needed.

Canada will need to make major changes to its power generation and distribution systems to meet growing demands and climate goals, according to 2022 Report From the Canadian Climate Institute.

We currently have “overnight electricity surplus” in Canada being produced to meet peak hours needs, Kyriazis said.

For many years, Canada’s surplus energy was sold to the United States, according to natural resources canada. Kyriasis said she believes the surplus is best used to connect more electric vehicles to charge overnight.

“Electric vehicles can play a very positive role because it is very easy to pre-program an electric vehicle,” Britton said.

“What I will do is just use my phone and preprogram it to start charging at 8 and then it will be full by morning.”

Some people are also turning to solar and wind energy to produce power for their electric vehicles, Giles said.

“Whatever you want to produce that energy to fill your car, you are in control of that,” Giles said.

More and more electric cars are also becoming able to not only store energy but also run a wider grid through them Two-way charging.

With bi-directional charging, vehicles are also able to discharge energy from their batteries, returning it to buildings and the grid when connected.

How bi-directional charging works: When the wind is blowing, the power can be fed through the charger to the vehicle. When demand is high, the car returns power to the grid. (CBC)

The simplest use of this technology is what is marketed by car manufacturers: backup power when you need it most.

This could be beneficial – and even life-saving – As climate change increases the risks of extreme weather.

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