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The Advantages of Driving Electric in Quebec

With gas prices at an historic high in Quebec (close to $1.50 per litre), more and more consumers are making the switch to a plug-in hybrid vehicle (LEV) or electric vehicle (ZEV). Look for vehicles with a distinctive green license plate (not applicable to non plug-in hybrid vehicles).

 

While some people make the switch for financial reasons, there are many other advantages to driving a plug-in vehicle in Quebec: 

  1. NEW VEHICLE REBATES

The Québec government is offering individuals, businesses, organizations, and municipalities a rebate of up to $8,000 on the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle. The amount of the rebate depends on the type of vehicle and conditions such as selling price, electric battery capacity, model, year of purchase, etc. The rebate is applied by the dealer to the contract of sale or lease.

The City of Laval is offering an additional rebate for the purchase of a battery electric vehicle. The amount is $2,000 per eligible vehicle, giving Laval residents access to a possible total of $10,000 in financial assistance.

  1. REFUNDS FOR 240-VOLT HOME CHARGING STATIONS

The Quebec government’s Drive Electric program offers financial assistance of up to $600, which includes:

$350 for the purchase of an eligible charging station; and

$250 for the installation of the charging station and its power supply infrastructure by an RBQ licence holder. 

  1. ACCESS TO DEDICATED LANES, TOLL BRIDGES, AND FERRIES

Toll bridges: Free access for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to the A25 and A30 bridges thanks to a special transponder provided by toll-bridge officials.

Ferries: Free access to the Société des traversiers du Québec’s paying ferries. Free passage applies to vehicles only. Drivers and passengers must pay the usual fare.

Dedicated lanes: Several dedicated lanes, marked with a green icon, are available for use by plug-in vehicles with green license plates.

  1. FREE PARKING IN SOME CITIES

Victoriaville: Free access to city-owned parking lots.

Saint-Jérôme: Parking stickers for electric vehicles. A green licence plate grants access to city-owned parking lots.

Joliette: Paid parking is free for electric vehicles when charging (on streets and in public parking lots). FLO charging stations are also available free of charge.

  1. THE COST OF ELECTRICITY VS. GASOLINE

In Quebec, electricity costs much less than gasoline. For electric vehicles, consumption is calculated in kWh/100 km. When charging at home, the price of electricity (for the second bracket of residential rate D) is $0.1026/kWh, including taxes. An electric vehicle that consumes an average of 15 kWh/100 km will travel 100 km for $1.54, compared to its gasoline equivalent, which will travel the same distance for $13.05 (a consumption rate of 9 litres/100 km at $1.45/litre). This can mean thousands of dollars in savings per year depending on the distance traveled. 

  1. MAINTENANCE COSTS

Oil: Battery electric vehicles do not require oil changes, and plug-in hybrid vehicles generally require less frequent oil changes than gasoline vehicles.

Brakes: Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles use a regenerative braking system, which puts less wear on brake discs and pads. As a result, the brakes can last two to three times longer than those of a gasoline vehicle.

Other components: Maintaining a gasoline vehicle requires the periodic replacement of parts and fluids that simply do not exist in an electric vehicle: timing belts, coolant, exhaust, oil filters, spark plugs, etc. 

  1. COLD WEATHER COMFORT

In cold weather, owners of a plug-in vehicle with a 240-volt home charging station can program their vehicle to warm up on a timer. Since the vehicle is plugged in, heating it does not reduce its range as the power comes from the charging station and not the high voltage batteries. Icy windows and freezing seats are a thing of the past. The high voltage batteries are also warmed up, which helps maximize the vehicle’s range. Moreover, because the heating system of an electric vehicle works like an electric baseboard heater, it is much faster than that of a vehicle with a combustion engine and does not need to wait until the engine is warm to heat the passenger compartment.

  1. FUN TO DRIVE

There are other interesting advantages to driving an electric vehicle. As any owner of an electric vehicle will tell you, the little things make all the difference.

A quiet ride: While electric cars are very quiet, they do emit a faint screeching noise in addition to the sound of the wheels on the ground. This is often enough to warn pedestrians and cyclists.

Acceleration: An electric motor reaches full power as soon as you press the gas pedal, providing superior acceleration compared to an internal combustion engine, which has to rev up before it can generate maximum power. This results in a sportier, more responsive driving experience.

Single-speed transmission: Electric vehicles do not have a transmission: they operate in a single gear. This means consistent, smooth acceleration at all speeds.

A “full tank” every morning: Not having to stop at a gas station is a time saver and a major advantage for some. An electric vehicle plugged in at night is always ready to go in the morning.

In-car technology: Most electric vehicles include all the latest technology drivers want in a new car: Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, heated seats and steering wheel, blind spot monitoring system, adaptive cruise control, backup camera, etc.

For more information on electric vehicles, check out the Roulez vert webinar on the important aspects of electric vehicles. You can also watch four short Roulez vert videos on electric vehicles available on our website at: http://electrificationdestransports.com