With the looming climate crisis, many people are looking into investing in good affordable electric cars as an environmentally friendly way to get them from A to B. But, as you may have noticed if you’ve looked into purchasing an electric car for yourself, the price of electric cars is astronomical! So, why is the electric car cost through the roof? Why is the price of electric cars so steep? And are there any truly affordable electric cars out there yet? How economical are they in all seasons and what are charging station costs? These are just some of the questions we aim to address in this article, among others.
How much does an electric car cost?
Well, an electric car typically costs anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 to buy, on average. This is far more expensive than any car’s gas equivalent.
Why does an electric car cost so much?
The main reason why an electric car costs so much to buy is its battery. This is a truly sophisticated piece of kit. The battery of an electric car is the same lithium-ion battery of your smartphone or laptop, albeit much larger, of course.
But the lithium battery, so integral to the electric car, contains one important and expensive component: the cathode. This is one of two electrodes that help to store and release the battery’s charge.
The cathode is comprised of expensive materials. Namely, precious metals like manganese, lithium, nickel and cobalt. So, these are a large contributor to the cost of the battery.
But this is not all. These metals also need to be properly mined and processed before they reach the highly pure stage at which they are suitable to form an electric car’s battery’s cathode.
So it’s easy to see why this sophisticated component is the most expensive one.
How much does an average electric car battery cost?
So, how much does an electric car’s battery cost, then? How much of the vehicle’s total price does it make up?
Well, the average battery cost for an electric vehicle today is around $7,350. A little steep – but this is a price that has come down in recent years. According to BloombergNEF, this price has come down by 87% in the past decade.
So how economical are electric cars then?
You might easily be put off electric cars since they cost so much to buy outright. This is true. But, the price of buying an electric car is slowly going down year by year.
As well as this, electric cars are getting cheaper than gas cars to run.
How much does it cost to run an electric car?
However, after you’ve bought an electric car, its running costs are incredibly cheap. If you go for a plug-in hybrid, expect to pay just $700 a year! Or, if you opt for a purely electric vehicle, it should cost only $300 to $400 a year to charge it.
This is in stark contrast to your typical gas vehicle, which can easily end up requiring $2,500 in gas!
What about driving an electric car in winter?
When driving an electric car in winter, some challenges can make it more expensive. Driving an electric car in especially wintry conditions can make the vehicle lose more than half of its potential driving range. This means that you could end up needing to charge your electric car more frequently in winter.
Of course, there are some measures you can take to prevent this problem, to a certain extent. When you warm up your car, letting it warm up while you still have it plugged into the charger helps your vehicle retain that important bit of extra power.
As well as this, if you stick to the speed limit and use any economy mode settings you can, both these measures will also greatly help to boost your electric vehicle’s capacity.
And you could also opt for an electric car with a longer-range battery if you have only limited access to charging stations, though this is an extra cost.
But still, using an electric car during a typical Canadian winter is going to be expensive no matter what.
Is it expensive to drive an electric car?
Did you know that the average electric car can get anywhere from 140km to 450km on a single charge? Therefore, a fully electric car is perfect for people who generally drive only the shorter distance of 80km a day – if you’re just planning to use it for your commute and errands, a fully electric car is perfect for you.
But what about going on a much longer trip? Is this feasible with an electric car?
Well, yes, you could potentially drive an electric car as far as you like. But, a longer trip is going to require some planning. This is because you’ll need to research which areas have appropriate charging stations available ahead of time.
According to Mobile Syrup, the average annual cost of charging any electric vehicle in Canada is around $277.19.
Very soon, you will be able to take an electric car all over Canada, due to this country’s rapidly growing network of public charging stations. There are over 5,000 already!
But for now, you need to carefully plan out a route to avoid getting stranded.
How much does a charging station cost?
The cost of installing your personal home charging station for an electric car is something that varies greatly throughout Canada. But with the looming climate crisis, many areas of Canada offer subsidies or rebate schemes when you want to set up your own home charging station. So, a home charging station can often be quite affordable.
Your absolute cheapest option is to use the extremely long portable cord-set that comes with every electric vehicle at no extra cost. This is referred to as Level 1 charging, and it is the slowest speed at which you can charge an electric vehicle. But, Level 1 charging can completely recharge a plug-in hybrid overnight.
Then there’s the home charging station, also known as Level 2 charging. This is a bit more expensive, as well as complicated to set up – you’ll need a certified electrician to carry this out for you. But, you’ll be rewarded with much faster charging speeds.
Installing a Level 2 charging station generally costs $1,500. But, if you live in Québec, you could receive $600 in financial assistance afterwards.
What about insurance?
Of course, if you do invest in an electric car, you’ll need to get it insured. But did you know that the cost of insuring an electric vehicle can vary widely throughout Canada? Read here to learn more.