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Electric vehicle charging – Costs of EV charging

Home charging

For most EV owners, charging is done at home using a standard wall outlet or an installed Level 2 charger, both of which draw power from your home’s electricity. The additional cost of charging at home will be reflected in your electricity bill. However, since electricity costs are generally lower than the current price of gas, the annual energy costs for driving an electric vehicle will be substantially lower.

Free charging

Several businesses and organizations are offering free on-site charging for customers and employees.

Municipalities across Canada continue to improve EV charging infrastructure in public spaces, such as parks, community centres, and roadside locations.

Find a public, electric charging station.

Fee-based charging

Fee-based charging options are available across North America. Most stations are run by EV charging network operators that provide electricity to EV owners for:

  1. a time-based fee (charge per amount of time) billing
  2. a flat fee (charge per use, charge per month)
  3. a fee based on the rate of charging (kilowatt-hours or kWh)
  4. a combination of the above options

Time-based and flat fee billing methods are most commonly used in Canada and other countries, as they have allowed the EV charging infrastructure to grow quickly to support of EV adoption, while giving the industry time to develop and refine the technologies necessary for accurate and reliable measurement of kWh consumption at EV charging stations.

Measurement Canada is developing requirements to allow EV charging based on the amount of energy consumed during a charge (i.e., by kWh) at a public charging station, which is the way EV drivers already pay for EV charging at home. Paying for public EV charging based on the amount of energy consumed provides a more equitable form of payment for all EV drivers just as drivers of gas-powered vehicles pay for litres of fuel rather than for the amount of time they spend filling up at the gas station. 

Energy cost of EV ownership

NRCan’s fuel consumption ratings tool is not just for owners of gas-powered vehicles. Use this tool to calculate the energy consumption of your electric vehicle and estimate annual electricity costs of ownership.

Canada’s network of public EV chargers growing rapidly with demand

Canadians are now driving EVs in all parts of the country, from coast to coast to coast, from rural Canada to urban areas. Publicly available EV charging stations are being installed at an increasing rate to meet current and future demand in order to provide reliable, affordable, emission-free travel to all Canadians.

Get acquainted with EV network operators

Most of the public charging stations run by network operators will require you to subscribe to their respective network to be able to use their stations. Subscribing and payment are made easy through online registration and payment methods.

Use our electric charging and alternative fuelling stations locator to find stations in your area. Check the station details to help you decide whether to subscribe to their charging network.

Zero-emission vehicle expert, Yves Madore, talks to a consumer about the cost of owning an electric vehicle.

Want to learn more about buying an electric vehicle?

What’s the true cost of owning a ZEV? Are they more or less expensive to operate over their lifespan compared with gas-powered vehicles? Are rebates available in Canada? Check out Part 3 of our Simply Science ZEV series and learn everything about buying an EV.

Watch Buying a Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV Series – Part 3)

Looking for an electric vehicle charging or hydrogen refuelling station?

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