Interest in electric cars is growing as prices at the pump surge and Canadian society in general turns away from fossil fuels.
In British Columbia, for example, the government recently announced a new law requiring that all cars and trucks sold in the province be zero emission by 2040. In addition, the federal government is offering buyer’s incentives for newly purchased or leased electric vehicles on or after May 1, 2019. Click this link to find the list of eligible vehicles.
This may seem all fine and dandy — who doesn’t like the idea of no longer paying high gas prices to commute? — but a lot of questions still remain about the infrastructure surrounding electric vehicles.
In particular, charging them is a concern.
It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours to charge an electric car, depending on the vehicle and the type of charger.
In an ideal situation, you plug in your electric car when you pull into the garage at home and let it charge overnight. Come morning, you’re all topped up and good to go.
But it’s not always that easy.
The cars can charge with a variety of different charge points, including a standard 120-volt outlet. That’s the option that takes the longest to charge, though, and still ideally requires access to a garage or somewhere covered to park your car.
Most electric car owners opt for a 240-volt charging station – but that needs to be installed at home and can cost several hundred dollars.
If you rent or live in an apartment with building policies, it can be tricky to install the charger you want. That’s why it’s crucial to look into your options before buying an electric car.
If you can’t charge it at home, though, not all is lost.
Many apartment buildings are opting to install charging stations – bring it up with your building manager. The same is true at workplaces where, increasingly, charging stations are being installed in parking lots. Then you can simply charge it while you work.
If none of those are options, look into what is around you in your neighbourhood. Oftentimes, malls and other public places will have free charging. There are also hundreds of paid super-chargers around the city, as well.