Electric Vehicle closeup of charging
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Electric Vehicles: a closer look

Question 1. Are Electric Vehicles Really More Expensive?
Question 2. Do You Want To Learn More?

To the first question:
Usually yes, if you just look at the sticker price. But, in reality, since most of us in Canada keep our new vehicles between 8 and 9 years according to automotive analysis Dennis DesRosiers, the purchase price is only part of the cost.

Two reports provide us with a picture of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) differences between electric vehicles (EVs) and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles.

The First Report:
Corporate Knights, in April 2019, compared a couple of electric vehicles (EVs) with comparable ICE vehicles.

Their findings regarding TCO included making a number of reasonable assumptions: They looked at gasoline and electricity prices, Km per year driven, assumed the vehicle is kept 10 years, considered financing costs, calculated maintenance costs as per Canada Drives, there were no rebates or subsidies included. The other assumptions and complete report is at https://www.corporateknights.com/channels/clean-technology/faceoff-electric-vs-gas-cars-on-cost-15555966/

Two sets of vehicles were compared. The first pair was a 2019 Honda Civic LX gas and a 2019 Nissan Leaf S EV. After all the calculations were done even though the Nissan was $13028 more to buy, at the end of 10 years the Nissan made up the difference and then some – it was $2205 cheaper than the Honda.

In another comparison of two small SUVs, a Toyota RAV4 gas and Hyundai Kona EV, it was found that the $11909 premium the purchaser would pay when buying the Kona disappeared and at the end of 10 years the Kona owner was ahead by $4985. That makes for an annual savings of nearly $1500 when buying the Kona

The Second Study;
Published in the Journal “Applied Energy” in Jan 2018 this analysis compared real time results from a range of gas, diesel, battery electric and hybrid vehicles from 1997-2015 in the US, UK and Japan.

The study compared the TCO of the Toyota Prius, Prius Plug-in, and Nissan LEAF to the Toyota Corolla in Japan, California, and Texas, and to the Ford Focus in the UK.

This analysis found that even though the electric vehicle technologies were in early development, with government incentives EVs were at cost parity with gas and diesel vehicles. The study calculated TCO using an average annual mileage for each region, and an average annual maintenance cost. “Costs were found to be cheaper for electric vehicles due to less wear on the brakes and fewer moving parts,” write the study’s authors.

Overall Conclusion:
In 2019 electric vehicles are relatively cheaper than even in 2015 due to lowered cost of batteries and so, even without considering incentives, the Corporate Knights report seems valid.
Each year the EVs savings over ICE vehicles will grow and simple economics should be helping you decide in favour of buying an EV. When you consider the other clear benefits of an EV such as few, if any climate altering emissions (Ontario’s power generation is virtually fossil free) and better performance, then the decision to go with the future is even clearer.

To the second question:
Come out to Orillia Square Mall (https://www.orilliasquaremall.com/) on Saturday Sept 28 10-4pm and Sunday Sept 29 11-3pm where about 20 EVs will be on display with some available for a test drive and all of them with owners anxious to tell you all about them.

This event is presented by PlugnDrive (http://www.plugndrive.ca, The Ontario EV Society (https://evsociety.ca/), Ontario Tesla Owners Club (https://ontario.teslaownersclub.ca/) and Sustainable Orillia (https://sustainableorillia.ca).

Mayors Burkett and Clarke will open the event at 10 am Saturday and there will be complementary refreshments in the mall, both morning and afternoon. Plugndrive will be holding seminars in the mall at 1 pm each day and if you attend, you qualify for a $1000 discount on the purchase of a used EV.

Also, if you are a resident of Orillia, on Sept 28 9-12, don’t miss the 2019 Environmental Advisory Committee Tree Giveaway (What a great way to beautify your yard and take some CO2 out of the atmosphere) – pick up the form at the Customer Service Counter at City Hall and then pick up your free potted, 1.5 m ft Sugar Maple tree at the City Hall Parking lot on Sept 28. There are only 150 so, if you miss ‘em, you miss ‘em!

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