Electric vehicles are becoming more popular in Canada. In British Columbia, driving with electricity can be up to 70-80% cheaper than driving with gasoline. Electric vehicles also offer many benefits to society, including decreased gasoline use, less air pollution and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles also offer a smooth and quiet ride. Visit www.emotivebc.ca to learn more about the electric vehicle experience.

There are several different types of electric vehicles, and sometimes it is confusing to tell one from another. This website defines “electric vehicles” as any car or truck that is capable of obtaining electricity from an external plug outlet. Some electric vehicles use only electricity, while others can use both electricity and gasoline. There are two main types:

Pure battery electric vehicles

“Pure” battery electric vehicles run on electricity only. They are charged by plugging into an electric vehicle charger. These vehicles use zero gasoline, and thus emit zero pollution from the tailpipe. Depending on the make and model, an electric vehicle with a full battery can travel anywhere from 100 to 500 kilometers before needing to be charged.

BC Hydro infographic that compares the different types of vehicle technology.  

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are a combination of a gasoline vehicle and a pure battery electric vehicle. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle can run on electricity only, gasoline only, or a combination of the two. They can be charged with electricity by plugging into a charger and they can be fueled with gasoline at the pump. Depending on the make and model, a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle with a full battery can travel for the first 20 to 60 kilometers on electricity and then run on a full tank of gasoline for 500 to 900 kilometers.

There are a number of resources that provide lists of makes and models available in Canada and these lists continue to evolve. Somer sources of information are:

Electric vehicles can be charged at a variety of locations, but most electric vehicle charging is done at home. If you live in an apartment or townhouse there are several options for you to charge at home.

 Learn more about your charging options.

Next Step

 Topic 2: Residential EV Charging


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This website refers to electric vehicle chargers simply as “chargers”. However, some people will use the more technical term: electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).