Electric vehicles (EVs) are the environmentally friendly answer to internal combustion engines (ICE). They are more accessible than ever for New Brunswickers. Yet, many people still think that EVs are expensive to buy and maintain, and are inconvenient to drive.  

Below are 10 things you need to know about EVs, including benefits, charging convenience and accessibility.

About electric vehicles

Electric vehicles have been on the Canadian auto market since 2011. While New Brunswick has seen an increase in EVs over the last few years, we still have a way to go to reach the goal of having over 20,000 EVs on the road by the year 2030.

EV charging station network is growing

Access to charging stations is a big concern for New Brunswick drivers. To build confidence in the provincial charging network, and to meet demand, NB Power has installed 26 fast-charging stations. There are also several independent charging stations, bringing the total number of charging stations in the province to 255.

Common EV makes & models

Many well-known vehicle manufacturers have affordable electric vehicle options. You can be confident that your favourite vehicle manufacturers have worked to create accessible and affordable vehicles for environmentally conscious drivers. The Government of Canada maintains a list of makes and models that are eligible for rebates. There are many more models available beyond the eligibility list.

https://tc.canada.ca/en/road-transportation/innovative-technologies/zero-emission-vehicles/list-eligible-vehicles-under-izev-program

10 things you need to know about electric vehicles

1) Types of EVs and the iZEV program

Electric vehicles fall into two groups, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs). Hybrids have a backup internal combustion engine (ICE) alongside an internal battery system. Total battery electric vehicles rely entirely on the internal battery system.

Both are classified as zero-emission vehicles or ZEVs by the Government of Canada. Both vehicles' defining characteristic is their ability to produce zero emissions.

Two rebate programs

A rebate program initiated by the Government of Canada offers buyers up to $5,000 back when buying a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV). The program has been extended until March 2025. New Brunswick offers an electric vehicle rebate program to go with the federal iZEV program. You can receive up to $5,000 on new models and $2,500 on used electric vehicles. The offer is “stackable” meaning you can use both provincial and federal rebates together for a combined rebate up to $10,000. (The province wants to see 20,000 EVs on the road by 2030.)

2) EV range

Electric vehicles have an average sustained driving range of 200 kilometres, with most newer models boasting over 400kms range  

The range depends on many variables, such as internal temperature, weather conditions, and the type of terrain you are driving in.

3) Growing network of charging stations

With 255 charging stations in New Brunswick there is always a charging station nearby.

Charging at home is also easy.  Electric vehicles, especially PHEVs can charge on a regular household outlet, and gain 40-50 kms range overnight.  For all-electric BEVs owners can install a level 2 home charging station with a  240V outlet, which is the same type of outlet for clothes washers and fridges. Most vehicles can fully charge a battery with 400-450 kms range overnight which means you can leave every morning with a full charge.

4) Battery life

New research shows that most electric vehicle batteries may outlive the vehicle itself, with battery health declining only an average of 2.3 percent per year. Most EVs have an 8 year or longer warranty on the battery.

5) How to recycle the batteries

As EV use rises, the issue of battery disposal is a priority. If the battery is still usable, drivers may continue to use the battery as a green residential energy source. For most consumers, recycling happens through major dealerships. Dealerships like Hyundai Canada, for example, have partnerships with car battery recycling giants like Lithion Recycling.  There will be continued advancements in recycling to make use of the valuable components of EV batteries.

6) EV energy efficiency

Did you know the use of an electric vehicle can save drivers up to thousands of dollars per year in fuel costs? It currently costs about $500 in electricity to drive 20,000 km/year. Compare that to your annual spend at the gas pump. An EV can reduce your carbon footprint by more than 80 percent. 

7) Affordability

Depending on the make and model, the cost of EVs can range from $35,000 to $160,000 for either a hybrid or total electric battery vehicle. As the options continue to expand there is a greater chance you’ll find a model within your price range. As well, EVs are made more affordable through savings at the pump. And with far fewer mechanical parts, they also require less maintenance.

8) Long-term benefits

Driving an EV can save you on your gas bill and costs an average of $500 to fuel with electricity versus what you would spend on gas.

9) Maintenance costs are almost non existent – an EV has about 20 moving parts vs 2,000 in an ICE vehicle. And EVs are also quiet.

10) Safety features

Both Plug in hybrid electric and  battery electric vehicles must follow the same standards as outlined by Transport Canada in the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. Many manufacturers include safety features to cut power in an accident, battery cooling technology, and additional plating around the battery. It's best to ask your local dealership about safety features when shopping around for electric vehicles.

EVs are key to our climate goals

The goal outlined in the Climate Change Action Plan for New Brunswick is to have 20,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030. A large network of charging stations, affordable electric vehicle options, and increasing awareness of the many benefits of electric vehicles, will help us meet our 2030 goal.

FAQs

What do I need to know about electric cars?

  • Electric vehicles are the environmentally friendly answer to gas powered vehicles.
  • Gas for your vehicle can cost approximately $3,800 per year. Electric battery vehicles cost a fraction of that at roughly $500 per year.
  • You can reduce your GHG emissions by up to 80 percent by using an EV. Every EV that replaces an ICE vehicle reduces emissions by 2.200kg of CO2
  • EVs are more accessible and affordable than ever.
  • Due to current availability, most new EVs must be preordered. Delivery time is 12-18 months.

Do electric cars need oil changes?

No, EVs do not require oil changes. There are fewer moving parts that need lubrication and fresh oil. An EV has about 20 moving parts vs 2,000 in an ICE vehicle so maintenance costs are almost non-existent. Most of the newer

How long does a charge last on an EV?

Most of the newer battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a range of 400 kms or more on a full charge.