Adoption Of Electric Vehicles In Canada And Their Charging Requirements

Over the past decade, Electric Vehicles (EVs) have become increasingly common around the world as well as in Canada. The Global EV industry is evolving fast with policy regulations, proposed phaseouts of internal combustion engines, infrastructure investments, and customer acceptance all converging to support adoption.

Canada has now moved past the early adoption phase and the industry is now ready to fully commercialize the market. The country has identified EVs as a key contributor to achieving the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target. Hence, it has become a part of the ongoing 2050 net-zero community project. In addition to this, the government has set a federal target that by the year 2040, all light-duty vehicle sales will be zero-emission vehicles.

EV Charging System Levels

For new or potential EV owners, one of the most confusing aspects is charging. Hence, let’s start with the basics. An EV charger is designed in such a way that it can charge both EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

There are two main types of EV chargers:

  • Alternating current (AC) chargers, where an EV utilizes its own AC to DC converter and on-board charger for charging;
  • Direct current (DC) chargers, where the AC to DC converter provided by the EV charger is utilized.

In alternating current chargers the EV receives alternating current (AC) and correspondent, in direct current chargers the EV receives direct current (DC).

These chargers are further divided into three levels. The level 1 and level 2 chargers are AC chargers while the level 3 chargers are DC chargers. As compared to AC chargers, DC chargers offer a faster charging rate and are usually installed in public charging stations.

The level 1 chargers are the slowest. Most EVs come with level 1 chargers, they provide upto 8 kilometers of range per hour of charging time. Level 2 chargers, on the other hand, are faster and can provide 16 to 97 kilometers of range per hour of charging time.

Level 2 chargers are the most common choice for home installations we complete. These chargers use a 240 volt similar to other high-power appliances like dryers, ovens, and air conditioners. You will also find level 2 chargers in some public and business charging stations.

Level 3 chargers are the fastest and are usually found in public charging stations. They provide the maximum range per hour of charging.

Now there are ENERGY STAR® certified Level 3 chargers that are currently in production and will be made available in the market in the coming months. ENERGY STAR chargers use 40 percent less energy in standby mode. On average, a charger remains on standby mode 85% of the time during its lifetime.

Level Amps Voltage Power (kW) Approximate Charging Time
1 15A 120V 1 20 hours for 200 Kilometers
2 20A – 60A 240V 7.6-11.5 5 hours for 200 Kilometers
3 <125A 480V Over 50 30 minutes for 200 Kilometers

More voltage means more power for your vehicle and shorter charge times. However, this also depends on the acceptance rate of a specific vehicle. Moreover, batteries tend to charge slower from 80% to 100%.

What Should You Consider Before Installing An EV Charger At Home?

If you are planning on buying an EV or have already bought one, you are probably thinking of installing an EV charger at home. Before you decide on a charger, consider the following factors:

  • Is your parking place outdoors? If yes, you have to invest in a charger with an outdoor rating.
  • Driving requirements: if you drive long distances frequently, you should invest in a level 2 charger as it will take you too long to complete a charge with a level 1 charger.
  • Safety Certification: the charger has to be safety certified. An uncertified charger can lead to major damages to your car, accidents in your home, and at the worst case start a fire. At Dandelion Renewables we only install CSA approved Chargers.
  • Do you need a portable charger? A portable charger will be slower than a permanent wall-mounted one.

Is Charging Cost-Effective?

According to a recent report, the average cost of charging an electric vehicle in Canada is around $277.19 CAD per year. This is pretty reasonable considering the cost of gasoline to operate an ICE (internal combustion engine) each year of about $1510/yr per person.

However, if you wonder whether it is more cost-effective to charge your vehicle at home or at a public station the answer will always be more cost effective at home!

This is probably why 80% of EV owners opt for home charging since it is by far more cost-effective and considerably more convenient.

In addition to this, if you work at a location where they provide EV charging services, it can prove to be quite cost-effective especially if you have to travel a long distance to your workplace.

Residential EV Charger Costs

If you own an EV, having a residential charger is a necessity especially if you drive your car every day. Driving to a public charging station every day to recharge your vehicle for a few hours simply would not make sense, nor is it practical.

On average, residential EV charger installations can cost anywhere between $1,000 to $3,000. The cost depends on the size of the charger and the complexity of installation. NOTE: You should always get a licensed electrician like our electricians to perform any electrical work.

Commercial EV Charger Adoption

More and more we see commercial places and businesses are trying to enhance their property and attract people by installing EV charging stations.

In Canada, many commercial areas including Apartments, Event Venues, Hospitals, Hotels, Malls/Shopping Centres, Parking Garages, Restaurants, Sports Facilities, and Universities/Colleges/Campuses already have EV chargers installed or are planning to install public charging stations in the upcoming years.

Across British Columbia, there are more than 2,500 electric vehicles (EV) public charging stations. There are several EV charging networks operating in Canada, these include BC Hydro, ChargePoint, Flo, Greenlots (for fast chargers), Petro-Canada, and Tesla (for Tesla vehicles).

This means that whether you are at home or out and about you should have access to a good charging station in Canada, as long as you are prepared and plan your trip ahead of time and account for charging breaks.

Future EV Adoption In Canada

According to a recent report by KPMG, 62% of 2,000 Canadians polled indicated they plan on buying a new vehicle in the next five years. A strong majority of that group — 68% — say they are likely or very likely to choose an EV for their next vehicle purchase.

Peter Hatges, a partner and national sector leader at KPMG Canada, explains,

“Canada’s automotive industry is nearing the tipping point, with nearly 70% of Canadians indicating that they’re looking to buy an electric vehicle in the next five years. Our poll research illustrates huge consumer demand in Canada for EVs, putting the onus on manufacturers and governments alike to shift gears not only to meet the expected surge in EV sales but to invest heavily in the necessary infrastructure.”

In addition to this, KPMG Canada statistics also show that young people are more likely to buy EVs. Among individuals aged 18 to 44 who are planning to purchase a vehicle in the next five years, 79% said that it’s likely to be an EV. That figure drops to 58% for those aged 45 and older.

About Us

Dandelion Renewables contributes to the planet’s sustainable energy future by offering healthy environmental solutions. We aim to reduce carbon footprints and offer our clients consultation, feasibility studies, knowledge, and complete installation services regarding energy-efficient upgrades and solar. We are proud to be one of the top-rated solar and renewable energy contractors in Western Canada. Contact us for more information.