Frequently Asked Questions about EV's

Most people are able to charge at home. You can use a standard 110V outlet (Level 1) with the basic charger included with most electric models. If you have 220V service available to your garage from your home's electrical panel, you can charge at a "Level 2" rate - for most electrics, that's about 40km for an hour of charging, versus 8 km/hour for 110V.

We are seeing more employers installing charging stations to encourage their employees to go electric and reduce their carbon footprint. Even just supplying Level 1 outlets is suitable for employees. In 8 hours they can charge about 64km range, which is more than the average Canadian daily comuter drives.

Also, you can charge at a public charging station. The Plugshare website is a great source of information on the location of public chargers. They also offer an app for this same purpose.

 In British Columbia, the top tier residential hydro rate, with taxes, is about $0.14 per kWh (2021). If you drive 1,500km per month your monthly cost will be in the order of $40 per month. In BC, that's about 1/5th the average cost of gasoline or diesel to power a similar size car the same distance. Now that public charging stations are in greater demand as electric car adoption accelerates some cities in British Columbia began charging for electricity by the minute. Prices range from $1 per hour and up to $0.55 per kWh. The reason for this is that charging stations and available spots are scarce resources. Charging for this on a time basis is the most equitable way to pay for such infrastructure, and encourages users to take only what they need an move on to free up the spot for other EV owners requiring a charge. There are many public charging stations, for example at shopping malls and libraries, and many are still free. Another way to look at this is that the cost of electricity equates to roughly $0.20 per litre of regular gasoline. So if a gas car gets 8L/100km, at todays price (May 21/21) of $1.49/litre, the gas would cost $11.92/100km. Compare that with electric $0.20 equivelant to litre, the electric would cost $1.60/100km.

The total cost of an electric car over its lifetime is often less than that of a comparable gas car. They cost a bit more up front but you get that back in fuel savings and reduced maintenance costs. First consider the savings of electricity over gas. Also, EV's don't require regular oil changes. Brakes last much longer due to regenerative braking, and many other factors.

It will be extremely rare to find and EV that has run out of charge. If you charge at home, in most cases, the next day you are leaving with a full "tank". Do many gasoline car drivers let their tank go dry? 

If you are travelling a long distance, preplanning pays. There are hotels that offer EV charging, as well, using the Plugshare app, or website can help you to plan your trip. Whether it is just here on the island, or across Canada, there are charge stations along the way. If your vehicle is rated for 400km on a full charge. You may plan that you want to take a break from driving after 3 hours, which would be roughly 300km. Stop for lunch, or a rest while your car is charging.

The Mid-Vancouver Island Electric Vehicle Society encourages drivers to follow these basic etiquette recommendations:

Keep EV spots for EVs
If you drive a gas or diesel Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle, please do not park in a spot designated for an EV no matter how crowded the parking lot is, and no matter how infrequently the charging location is used. EV drivers rely on these stations to make it to their next destination.
Don't Leave Nasty Notes
If the charging spot you counted on using is occupied by an ICE vehicle (ICE’d) or by another EV not plugged in, avoid the temptation to go ballistic and leave a polite note on the windshield explaining your reliance on these stations. 
Charge Only When Necessary
The majority of dail travel can be done through a home charger overnight. Keep in mind that electricity at free charging stations is privately funded and provided as a courtesy to EV drivers who might need the charge to safely complete their travels. Unless you need a charge to reach your destination, please leave the spot free for another EV driver who needs the charge to complete their trip. Please don’t charge if you don’t need a charge.
Once Your Charge Is Completed, Move On
Only occupy a charging spot while your car is being charged. Please unplug and move your car once you have adequate range to comfortably reach your destination. Leaving the space ready for the next user.
It's OK to Ask for a Charge 
If a charging spot is being used, it’s OK to park in an adjacent spot and leave a note with your name and cell number asking the owner to plug your car in after they are done.
Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) 
An owner of an EV does NOT have the right to unplug a PHEV, such as a Mitsubishi Outlander just because that car has a back-up gas engine. However, if asked, PHEV drivers may concede their spot to EV drivers who might not be able to safely reach their next destination.
Don't Unplug Another Vehicle
Never unplug another EV or PHEV unless it has clearly completed its charging, or you’ve received permission from the owner. If you unplug another car once it has fully charged, leave a note with your name and cell number explaining why it was unplugged.
Leave Your Contact Info 
Before you leave to shop or dine at one of the local merchants, place a note on your dashboard with your name and cell number so that other EV drivers can reach you in the event that they urgently need a charge. It’s helpful to indicate when you expect to be back and whether it is OK to unplug your car before it’s fully charged.
We suggest that as you begin charging, please  “Check in” on the mobile PlugShare app to let others know that the station is in use and also leave feedback for future users. If there is a problem with a charging station, please first contact the station owner before leaving a negative review.


Route the cord from the station to your car such that it lays flat on the ground and is not a trip-hazard. Before you leave, please wind the cord neatly on its holder. 

If we all follow these simple guidelines, everyone will have a much more pleasant EV experience

We asked this question when renewing our ICBC insurance. The broker told us that the only factor might be the weight of the vehicle, since batteries are heavy. However, the difference is negligible. Also, if your EV has Frontal Collision Avoidance, (FCA) don't forget to mention this, as ICBC gives and additional discount for this feature!

Everything you wanted to know about EV's and their Batteries

This article by the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association answers many questions about Electric Vehicle vehicles and batteries

What pollutes more? Electric or Gas?

We have heard that mining the minerals for the batteries causes more pollution than gas. This video answers this question.

Here are some short FAQ videos from Emotive BC:

Can EV's go the distance?

Electric Vehicles are ready for winter!

Electric Vehicles are going mainstream!

Electric Vehicles save you money!

Charging stations in BC

Are EV's safe to drive in the winter?

BC Hydro has an excellent website for more information on EV's

Still have questions? Send them to us on our "Contact Us" page, and we will have an EV owner help you.