How much will the switch to electric vehicles really cost?

By Geoff Agonbar – Local Journalism Initiative

In the most recent Quebec budget, it was announced that rebates on electric vehicle (EV) purchases will be reduced starting April 1, 2022.

Purchases of new all-electric vehicles will be eligible for provincial rebates of up to $7,000, up from $8,000 previously. New plug-in hybrids will drop from $8,000 to $5,000, and the maximum rebate for a used all-electric purchase will be just $3,500, down from $4,000 previously.

Quebec grants remain among the most generous in Canada. Many provinces have yet to offer their own electric vehicle rebates.
The federal government offers an additional rebate of up to $5,000, in addition to provincial grants.

According to Statistics Canada, more than 65,000 battery-powered or plug-in hybrid cars were registered in Canada in the first three quarters of 2021, more than for all of 2020. Three-quarters of all Canadian electric vehicles were registered in British Columbia and Quebec. British Columbia posted the highest percentage of EV registrations per capita.

In Quebec, EV purchase rebates apply to approved models with a retail price of less than $60,000. The purchase of a 240-volt residential charging station is also eligible for assistance of up to $600. The complete list of eligible vehicles and charging stations is available at

The Legault government announced in November 2020 that Quebec plans to ban sales of new gas-powered vehicles in the province by 2035. The provincial government has also targeted 1.5 million electric vehicles on Quebec roads from here 2030.
Clean Energy Canada released a report called The True Cost on March 30, which tries to make it easier to compare the cost of owning a new EV in Canada.

The list price for an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid or hybrid is usually significantly higher than that of a comparable petrol model, even after discounts. However, ordinary cars cost more to operate and maintain. Monthly payments on the purchase of an electric vehicle may be higher, but the cost of gas, oil changes and other combustion engine related consumables is nil.

So how much would it cost to own a new car in Canada for the next 8 years, driving 20,000 kilometers per year, if gas prices held steady at the 2021 national average of $1.35/L?

To cover the range of choices, the report compares an all-electric and gasoline model of a sedan, sedan, SUV, crossover, premium, and truck. from manufacturers ranging from Ford, Tesla, Lexus, Volkswagen, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan. , Toyota to Chevy.

Note their comparison of a 2022 Chevy Bolt versus a 2022 Corolla Hatchback, as this is the only instance where a third scenario at a more extreme average of $2/L for gasoline was also calculated in its entirety.

The average cost per mile to own and maintain a 2022 Chevy Bolt for 8 years, including depreciation, fuel, maintenance, repairs, taxes, insurance and other costs, was estimated at $0.33 $/km.

If gasoline were to maintain an average of $1.35/L, the 2022 Corolla Hatchback should cost an average of $0.45/km (+37%) over the same period and the same use.

So in 2022, it costs $38,198 to buy the Bolt and only $21,450 to buy the Corolla Hatchback. But driving 20,000 kilometers per year on gasoline maintained at $1.35/L, by 2030 owning the Bolt is expected to cost $51,848 versus $71,162 (+$19,314) for the Corolla Hatchback.
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