Rates and rebates make EVs in B.C. even more affordable

If you're like most electric vehicle (EV) owners, you'll do the majority of your charging at home or at work. That means that your BC Hydro bill will go up, but perhaps not as much as you might guess.

And with new EV charger rebates for the purchase and installation of Level 2 chargers in single-family homes, apartment buildings and workplaces, the overall cost of charging is now an affordable option for most people.

Cost comparison: 4 different scenarios

Here's a look at estimated monthly electricity costs for four different vehicles over 4 different distances, with 100% of charging done at home.

In the real world, the typical driver does about 80% of their charging at home, and supplements that with any combination of charging at work (often free), public stations (often free), or at fast charging stations that range in price from free to about three times the kilowatt-hour BC Hydro residential rate. We've used CAA's Electric Vehicle Cost Calculator to come up with the numbers:

Electric vehicle charging and BC Hydro bill

A 2019 Hyundai Kona

driven 20,000 km a year (55 km a day)
  • Cost of electricity: $38 a month
  • Cost of fuel for an equivalent gas-powered Hyundai Kona: $191 a month

A 2018 Nissan Leaf SV/SL

driven 10,000 km a year (27 km a day)
  • Cost of electricity: $20 a month
  • Cost of fuel for an equivalent gas-powered Honda Fit: $79 a month

A 2018 Chevy Bolt hatchback

driven 30,000 km a year (82 km a day)
  • Cost of electricity: $55 a month
  • Cost of fuel for an equivalent gas-powered Nissan Versa Note: $255 a month

A Tesla Model S P100D

driven 20,000 km a year (55 km a day)
  • Cost of electricity: $45 a month
  • Cost of fuel for an equivalent gas-powered BMW Series 7 750Li XDrive: $255 a month

To estimate your BC Hydro electricity cost of charging different EVs, use CAA's Electric Vehicle Cost Calculator.

To get an idea of the total costs of EV ownership, take into consideration the higher purchase price of EVs, the available purchase rebates to offset that purchase cost, the lower fuel and maintenance costs for EVs, and the prospect of battery replacement down the road.

"I made it from Tofino to Yoho National Park in an electric vehicle," said BC Hydro's Dave Mix at the close of his province-wide "Clean Getaway" road trip in a Chevy Bolt. "No emissions. And it cost me… I'd say about 30 bucks. I'd call that a success."

Watch Dave's Clean Getaway road trip videos

No specific electric vehicle charging rate, for now

The rate for charging an EV in B.C. is currently the as the rate for the electricity you use throughout your home. But we're currently investigating what an EV-specific rate might be.

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