Why Even Skeptics are Buying Electric Vehicles in 2023

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True electric vehicles haven’t really been around that long.

Even now, the industry is really just in it’s infancy. We’re only talking 2010 for the first mass-produced EV to hit North American shores. 

Many vehicle owners were initially skeptical when it came to early electric vehicle offerings. And for good reason too. Many early adopters had to deal with inconveniences such as a low range, lack of charging options, and a much heftier price tag. So why should you get one?

Nowadays, however, even the most skeptical EV buyers are making the change. This is thanks to an new tech that’s making huge advancements and improvements, just over a decade into market. Here’s what’s up:

What About the Purchase Price?

One of the biggest objections many drivers have when considering an EV is the larger upfront purchase price. While this is still true in some regards, the gap is ever decreasing. The gap has become minimal in many cases and with increasing provincial and federal incentives, EV buyers can receive up to $9000 in rebates. While some restrictions apply, even hybrid vehicles can qualify for a portion of this rebate, saving you thousands of dollars upfront on your vehicle purchase. Contact Kia Victoria if you are interested in one of our hybrid or electric vehicles and want to know which EV rebates will apply to you.  

What About Maintenance Costs and Cost of Ownership? 

Many EV skeptics have been surprised to learn that maintaining an Electric Vehicle is actually much cheaper compared to their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, and also require less maintenance overall. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy states that

“EVs typically require less maintenance than conventional vehicles because:

  • The battery, motor and associated electronics require little to no regular maintenance
  • There are fewer fluids, such as engine oil, that require regular maintenance
  • Brake wear is significantly reduced due to regenerative braking
  • There are far fewer moving parts relative to a conventional gasoline engine.”

A recent cost comparison study shows that a traditional gas vehicles costs 1.66 times more to maintain compared to a battery electric vehicle.

Cost of ownership is also much lower thanks to the combination of cheaper maintenance and saving hundreds or even thousands saved every year in fuel costs. In fact, a recent cost analysis we did here at Kia Victoria showed that even a plugin hybrid Kia Sorento will save you $1618 each year compared to the gas engine Sorento.

What About Battery Replacements?

Skeptics of EVs often list a multi-thousand dollar battery replacement as one of the main reasons they aren’t sold on EVs. While the replacement of your EV battery is costly, the good news is that EV batteries are rated for the life of the vehicle. While the estimated lifespan of an EV battery varies, even the most modest estimates say EV batteries will last you upwards of 12 years, with some people reporting a 15-20 year lifespan. This lifespan is in line with ICE vehicles. 

Customers who are especially concerned with this looming replacement can opt to lease their EV instead. Leasing terms will give you the option of replacing your vehicle well before the battery needs replacement. On top of this, leasing lets you stay up to date in the rapidly advancing world of electric vehicles, so you always have the latest EV technology. If you end up falling in love with your current EV, leasing also gives you the flexibility to refinance or purchase the vehicle outright.  

What About Charging?

The B.C. government is currently offering a rebate to help with the cost of installing a charger at your home. The rebate covers 50% of purchase and installation costs up to $350. We have a great guide that walks you through the charger installation process that you can view here. 

When you aren’t at home, charging in Victoria has become a seamless and simple process thanks to the large number of charging stations across the city. You have many charging options in Victoria that vary in cost and charging speed: 

The Free Option 

As of August 2022, there are 236 charging stations in Victoria, BC. 83% are free. Most places still require you to sign into an app such as Flo or ChargePoint to charge your vehicle, whether you need to pay or not.

Pay-per-use Level 2 charging stations 

These typically charge $1 or $2 per hour. This puts the cost at around $5 for 100 km of driving when you pay $2 per hour at an approximate rate of 30 km of range per hour. Beginning on January 4, 2021, a $1 per hour EV charging fee came into effect for all City-owned EV chargers in Victoria.  Parking and EV charging fees are combined and paid for using the FLO App or using your preloaded FLO purchase card on Broad Street and in the Johnson Street parkades.

Pay-per-use Level 3 fast charging stations 

The cost charging varies wildly. You’re charged based on time, but how much charge your vehicle can accept in that time changes based on the temperature, your current charge level, and several other factors. Here’s an example of what to expect at a pay-per-use charging station: a BC Hydro run 50 kW Level 3 charger at the University of Victoria costs 21.13 cents per minute + GST. This Level 2 fast Charger can be activated by using the BC Hydro EV App/RFID Card, FLO App/RFID Card, or by calling 1 866 338 3369 to have the charge initiated remotely. Typically, pay-per-use chargers are installed and run by third parties such as BC Hydro, Flo, or ChargePoint. A 50-kW Level 3 fast charger like this one will add around 100 km of range in about 20 minutes, at a cost of approximately $4.50.

Pay-per-use Level 4 ultra fast charging stations 

A 350-kW Level 4 charger, the fastest currently offered, can add 100 km in as little as four minutes, at a price of less than $3. There are zero Level 4 chargers in Victoria, currently.

What About Range Anxiety?

From the long list of charging options above it is clear that driving around major cities in B.C. like Victoria or Vancouver won’t give you any range anxiety. But what about a longer trip to Whistler or even a cross Canada summer vacation? Apps and websites like PlugInBC, Google Maps and many others can quickly show all nearby charging stations so you can perfectly plan out your trip with charging stations comfortably along the way. Combined with the impressive range of new EVs like the EV6’s 500 km range or the flexibility of hybrid models and its easy to understand why many say that EV range anxiety is a thing of the past. 

Learn everything you need to know about Electric Vehicles at our EV University here.