"Electric Vehicles: Where are we now? - an educational conference offered by the City of Gatineau
Are you currently in the market for a new vehicle? Are you thinking of replacing your car with a new one but don't know where to start? Today's car market can quickly become overwhelming with its multiple offers, annual new models and the costs associated with maintenance. Sylvain Michaud and Réjean Pleau, experts, amateurs and owners of electric cars, offered an online training session "Electric vehicles: where are we now?" on this subject via the Gatineau Library. The objective of this conference was to present the latest news and statistics on electric cars and was available to the citizens of Gatineau through the Culture+Loisirs online platform. Participants were able to learn more about what, slowly but surely, seems to be transitioning from an ecological trend to the future of all types of automobiles.
There are several types of electric cars that differ in the form of energy they consume. The plug-in hybrid vehicle (véhicule hybride rechargeable or VHR) has an electric motor as well as a combustion engine (gasoline). When recharged, the VHR can recover an electric range varying between 20 and 85 kilometers depending on the model and make of the vehicle. The Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime are examples of plug-in hybrids.
The all-electric vehicle (véhicule entièrement électrique or VEE) runs, as the name suggests, entirely on electricity and consumes no fossil fuels. With a full charge, an electric car has a range of between 100 and 600 km. These vehicles are quieter than fuel-powered vehicles and produce no greenhouse gasses (GHGs). Types of VEEs include the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kona model, the Tesla 3 and the Volkswagen ID4.
It is possible to charge an electric vehicle with a charging station, whose various unit measurements influence the speed of charging, as explained by Roulons Électrique, a campaign of Équiterre, a non-profit organization approved by the Plan pour une économie verte of Quebec. The charging stations available at home are 120 and 240 volt stations (i.e. a traditional electrical outlet and a designated electric vehicle charging outlet that can be installed at home). These charging stations have a charging speed of 8 km/h and 40-45km/h, respectively. Finally, 240 volt and fast charging stations (400 volts and a charging speed of 150-300 km/h) are also available across the country for electromobilists.
In Quebec, some financial incentives are available for new electric car buyers, companies wishing to install a charging station for their employees or building owners who would like to install a common charging station. For example, when purchasing a fully electric vehicle, one can expect a rebate of approximately $7000, deducted from the dealer's invoice. When purchasing a residential charging station (240 volts), a rebate (or refund, depending) of $600 applies. Experts Michaud and Pleau also note that while the purchase price of an electric vehicle is often higher than the price of a fuel-powered vehicle, savings are possible in the long term as maintenance costs (especially for VEEs that do not require an oil change) are lower and the brakes last longer.
Information: The Association des véhicules électriques du Québec's (AVEQ) free online platform.
Photo caption: An electric car charging via a home charging station
Photo credit: courtesy of Roulons Électrique