Most charging stations on the market can be installed indoors or outdoors, as they are designed to withstand heat, cold, rain, snow, ice, wind, and more. However, they should always be installed by a master electrician.
Owners of all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles can get financial assistance to purchase and install a 240-volt home charging station. For details on home charging station installation, go to the Drive Electric program website.
Fact and fiction
The vast majority of Quebecers commute fewer than 60 kilometers to work each day. Most electric vehicles today have a range of over 100 kilometers, which is more than enough to get around town.
Range can vary considerably depending on driving habits. Motorists can adapt the way they drive to maximize battery efficiency and drive further without charging.
Many automakers have announced that their upcoming models will have 25% more range and that many models will have a range of over 300 kilometers in the next two to three years.
Today’s electric vehicles are a few thousand dollars more expensive than some gasoline-powered vehicles in the same class, but they cost less to maintain and their energy costs are 8 to 10 times lower. In Québec, buyers can get a rebate of up to $8,000 on the purchase of an electric vehicle through the Drive Electric program, making electric vehicles more affordable.
Buyers make up the price difference within a few years through lower energy and maintenance costs. (It takes between three and six years depending on distance traveled each year.) Electric vehicles should become more affordable in coming years as the cost of battery production falls.
Cold weather can reduce battery range by 20% to 30% depending on the temperature. The colder it is, the more the range will decrease, especially given that the heating system alone uses up to a third of the battery range. Taking special precautions in very cold weather—like preheating the vehicle while it’s still connected to the charger and plugging it in as soon as it is stopped—will help maximize range.
Both electric and gasoline-powered vehicles often start the day at full capacity, but warm air is available to electric vehicles immediately. Plus, even in winter, the electric vehicles on the market have enough range to meet the daily commuting needs of most Quebecers, which average 45 kilometers.
Cold is not the only factor that affects battery range. Driving conditions (city or highway) and habits (rate of acceleration, speed, etc.) significantly influence electric vehicle energy performance. To get the most out of their electric vehicles, motorists should adapt their driving habits, whatever the season
Electric vehicle batteries last 10 years on average. After that, they aren’t efficient enough to be used in vehicles but can be used in other applications. Companies are working to develop new uses for electric vehicle batteries to give them a second life as fixed energy storage units, for example.
Many companies around the world also recycle batteries, and most electric vehicle battery components (metal, plastic, etc.) are salvaged and reused.
Hydro-Québec’s power grid can already meet the charging demand of one million electric vehicles, i.e., nearly a quarter of the vehicles on Québec roads. Most users charge their vehicles at home overnight, so this additional energy will be consumed during off-peak hours using surplus electricity.
Using Québec-produced electricity to power the vehicle fleet will cut our dependence on foreign oil and boost Québec’s economy.