Electric vehicles more affordable than you think

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Report from BC Hydro says the number one barrier to buying an electric vehicle is actually a myth.

According to the report, a third of British Coloumbians are interested in switching to an electric vehicle, but most believe it would be too expensive.

Unplugged: Myths block road to the electric car dream, says over the long-term, some electric vehicles are less expensive than comparable gas-powered cars in ownership costs.

One of the reasons electric vehicles are cheaper is due to BC having among the lowest electricity rates in North America.

The report compares the cost of ownership per year (excluding depreciation costs) for popular vehicles.

* 2018 Nissan Leaf ($2,848) vs. 2018 Honda Civic ($4,313)

* 2018 Chevrolet Bolt ($3,299) vs. 2018 Chevrolet Spark ($4,298)

* 2018 Kia Soul EV ($3,109) vs. 2018 Kia Soul gas-powered ($4,845)

While sticker shock is the most common perceived barrier, the report also found other misconceptions, including:

Range anxiety: almost 40 per cent think today’s electric cars do not have enough battery range for longer trips.

Charging station availability: almost 90 per cent said there was not an electrical vehicle charging station available at their home or residential complex, even though a standard 120-volt household outlet can be used for vehicle charging.

Model variety: only 20 per cent said there was an electric vehicle that offered exactly what they need in terms of size and features.

This year, there are seven fully electric vehicle models for sale in B.C. with a battery range of at least 150 kilometres that are less than $40,000 after a provincial rebate. Ninety-five per cent of all car trips in B.C. are less than 30 kilometres, according to the report.

“BC Hydro is supporting electric vehicle adoption in B.C. by working with local, provincial and federal governments on initiatives to expand its fast charging station network,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s president. “There are currently more than 1,000 charging stations, including 30 fast charging stations, with 26 additional stations planned to be added this year.”

B.C. is one of only three Canadian provinces to offer rebates for the purchase of an electric vehicle. Rebates of up to $5,000 are available for battery electric vehicles, and up to $2,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. When combined with SCRAP-IT program incentives, total savings on the purchase of a battery electric vehicle could be up to $11,000.

Earlier this year, the B.C. Government also announced three new rebates for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle chargers at homes, residential complexes and workplaces.

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