British Columbia

Commuters can save thousands by switching to electric vehicles, BC Hydro says

A new survey says it costs the equivalent of $0.25 per litre of gas to charge an electric vehicle.

It costs the equivalent of $0.25 per litre of gas to charge an electric vehicle, survey finds

BC Hydro says British Columbians can save thousands by switching from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

As B.C. experiences record-high gas prices, a new survey has found commuters could save thousands by switching to an electric vehicle.

Charging up an e-vehicle costs the equivalent of $0.25 per litre of gas, according to the BC Hydro survey, which compared commuting costs for top-selling gas-powered vehicles with costs for top-selling electric vehicles.

In one example detailed in the report, commuting between Abbotsford and Vancouver — a distance of around 140 kilometres both ways — for five days a week, 52 weeks a year, would cost $5,848 in a Ford F-150, a top-selling gas-powered vehicle in the province.

In a Honda Civic, the same trip would cost $3,411 a year. BC Hydro used the average price of gas in each area from May 15. 

But in an electric-powered Nissan Leaf, the same commute over a year costs $726, equating to savings of around 80 per cent.

Equipped to handle increased load: BC Hydro

Tanya Fish, a spokesperson for BC Hydro, said there are currently about 18,000 electric vehicles on B.C.'s roads, double the amount from last year. 

She says the utility is preparing for even more demand as more people switch to electric. 

"We have been preparing for for a while now. We are able to meet that increased demand for more electric vehicles," Fish said. 

"Our infrastructure is well equipped to handle that increased load."

Fish noted the company has installed 58 fast chargers across the province — which can charge cars within 30 minutes — and 2,000 other public chargers that charge vehicles at a slower rate. 

She says 23 additional chargers will be added to the grid by the end of this year.

With files from Jodi Muzylowski

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.