Over the last few years, the prices of electric vehicles (EV) have been continuously dropping. In fact, they now cost less than they ever have. If you’re looking to bring that sticker price down as much as possible (and who wouldn’t!), we have a few tips for you. Here are the top ways you can save money on an EV.
Check for all available incentives and rebates
There are many places to look to see if your vehicle or charging station purchase is eligible for incentives. First of all, make sure to check at both the provincial and federal levels for government incentives. Click here to see what’s available in your area.
The next place to contact for rebates is your car insurance company. Some Canadian insurances offer discounts for electric vehicles as a way of supporting lower carbon emissions.
Lastly, another place to check is with your employer. Some workplaces offer incentives for buying an electric vehicle and might even have charging stations to use while you’re at work.
Even after you’ve bought your EV, you’re still going to save money. There are a few other places to look for discounts. You might be able to save on parking on city streets or in lots, and high-occupancy vehicle lane (also known as an HOV lane, carpool lane) access.
You never know where your EV will save you money. So, don’t be shy to ask!
See if your utility offers special charging rates
As more people buy electric vehicles, many utility companies are looking to manage the increased use of electricity. One way they do this is by offering time-of-use rates. This means that when you charge during the specified hours that fewer people use electricity, then your utility bill will be lower. Alternatively, they might offer bill credits.
Your utility might also offer rebates for installing a home charging station. This could even include the cost of installation. Charging station installation costs vary. Click here to find a certified electrician near you.
Finally, some utilities might have pilot projects on smart charging where you get incentives to charge your vehicle.
FLO Home X5 is a Level 2 charging station with added smart benefits. You can track your usage data, adjust your power output and charge on a schedule in the FLO mobile app. You’ll also get real-time technical support and automatic software updates for your charging station. Find out more here.
Get ready to charge at home
As an EV driver, you’ll do the majority of your charging at home (close to 90%). There are two options to charge at home.
A Level 1 charging station (120 volts) is a regular three-prong plug that you can put into a standard wall outlet. Most manufacturers include this standard with every vehicle. It will give you 6-10 km of range per hour. This means it’ll take around 22 hours to get a full battery.
A Level 1 charging station might work if you only drive very short distances each day. Keep in mind that in cold climates, it might not deliver enough charge for daily use.
The other home option is a Level 2 charger, which gives 240 volts, the same as a dryer. Level 2 offers added safety benefits and a quicker charge, around 36 km of range per hour. Level 2 installation costs vary. Click here to find a certified electrician near you.
Used electric vehicles are also an option
In the earlier days of EVs, used electric cars didn’t have much value because drivers were afraid the older batteries wouldn’t hold their range. But as batteries were improved and range didn’t deplete as much as some feared, we’re actually seeing used EVs increase in value.
By doing a little research, you can easily find some great used options online and at some dealerships.