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Electric Vehicles: it’s all about the driving experience, fuel savings and a greener way of getting around

September 15 2016, 14:22 PM

Electric Vehicles: it’s all about the driving experience, fuel savings and a greener way of getting around

Ask any electric vehicle (EV) owner what it’s like to drive an electrically powered vehicle and praise flows quickly- instant acceleration, smooth driving, a startlingly quiet ride and of course, substantive savings on fuel and maintenance. That’s praise enough to impress any driver, from the auto enthusiast to the non-technical commuter.

But for many EV-curious commuters, lots of questions remain. Below, we tackle some of the most commonly posed questions about electric vehicles in New Brunswick.

The newly released BMW i8 is a Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle sports car. The i8 will be on display at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Music Festival on Sat, Sept. 17 from 1-5 p.m.

What’s the difference between a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric vehicle?  A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) uses both electricity and gas. It has a small battery pack for short all-electric driving distances. A Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) is a fully electric car that never uses gas.

How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle? The answer to this question depends on a few factors: 

  • the battery capacity of the EV.
  • how depleted the battery is.
  • the charging level available.

Typically, EVs can be charged over night from a regular (120 volt) household outlet, known as Level 1 charging common used at home by EV owners.

Increasingly found in public spaces, Level 2 (240 Volts) charging stations can provide a full charge to your EV in 10-12 hours (though you may not need a full charge to get home or to your next destination.)

Level 3 charge stations (at 480 Volts), also known as DC-Quick Chargers or DC Fast Chargers, can provide a full charge in 30 minutes. For more information on charging options available for EVs, visit Plug ‘n Drive Canada.

What kind of savings can I expect?

The cost of buying a new car isn’t just in the price tag. You also need to factor in the cost of ownership. Because electric cars use electricity instead of gas, you can save thousands of dollars per year on fuel costs.

On average in New Brunswick, battery only electric vehicles cost about $300 per year to fuel with electricity compared to over $2,000 in gas costs for an internal combustion engine car. By making the switch to electric vehicles, you could reduce your transportation related CO2 emissions by as much as 84%

What are the environmental benefits of driving an electric vehicle?

New Brunswick’s cars and trucks burn more than 1.1 billion litres of gasoline each year and emit more than 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

The burning of fossil fuels reduces air quality and produces greenhouse gas emissions. Released into our atmosphere, these GHGs are contributing to climate change, extreme weather events and health problems. Most of the CO2 emissions associated with your EV are from the generation of electricity.

By switching to an electric car you can reduce your CO2 emissions by as much as 3,000 kg per year, or about 75%. This is especially true when the electricity used to charge your car’s battery comes from low-emitting energy sources, such nuclear and hydro.



Are you thinking about buying an EV? If you already own an EV, what’s your advice for prospective EV owners?

 

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