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What Electric Cars are Available in Canada?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What Electric Cars are Available in Canada?

Electric cars are usually a passing thought when making a new car purchase, but the recent increase in gas prices may influence people towards them as a suitable alternative. In addition, various proponents are attempting to increase the popularity of electric vehicles by increasing their accessibility to average motorists. Their effort is yielding some result, as seen from a recent finding that indicated that there are currently 1,400 electric vehicles on Ontario roads, compared to fewer than 100 in 2010. 

In Canada, there are two types of electric vehicles (EVs): Extended Range hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and grid-connected vehicles, namely the battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).Compared to HEVs, the batteries in grid connected vehicles (BEVs and PHEVs) are much larger, and can be recharged by simply plugging them to the electricity grid. 

PHEVs available in Canada include the Toyota Prius Plug-in, the Ford C-Max Energi, and the Ford Fusion energy. These cars are similar to Extended Range Electric Vehicles, but they offer three different driving modes: gas, electric and hybrid (battery). The gas mode makes use of an internal combustion engine that can be used to recharge the car’s battery, and to substitute the electric drive chain when the battery has low power and needs recharging. 

The most notable Extended Range HEV in Canada is the Chevrolet Volt. It has two complementary drive systems: a fuel tank and gasoline engine; and a battery, electric motor and control. Both the electric motor and engine can drive the transmission simultaneously to produce the vehicle’s motion. When the electric motor is used by itself, it can produce enough voltage for 60 km. when the battery is drained, the gas engine steps into provide an extra 500 km depending on how you drive. The HEVs battery can be charged with a plug-in charger, but not from the electricity grid. 

The first BEV to be mass produced was the Nissan Leaf, but the increased availability of technology has increased the variety to include: Tesla Model S, Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, Ford Focus Electric, and Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Unlike the other two, BEVs run entirely on battery and electric mode, without the support of a gas system. This implies that it can only be recharged from an external source of electricity. The Ford has the shortest range of 122 km, while the Tesla can go for 480 km. 

Provincial governments are providing incentives to boost the purchase of EVs,with Ontario offering an $8,500 rebate, and Quebec a $8,000 rebate. British Columbia is also providing a $5,000 price-point incentive. Combined with the sales events by dealerships, you can acquire an EV for the same value as a gas-powered car. 

Until you take the plunge and purchase an electric or hybrid you can familiarize yourself with your gasoline powered vehicle’s fundamental components by having an informed talk with a professional Pro-Tech Transmissions mechanic during regular maintenance. At Pro-Tech Transmissions,we take care of your car and are always happy to help you learn more about it.Call us at (780) 453-3300 (1-877-435-6880) to talk to any of our transmission experts.

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