Charge Your Ride

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Transitioning from fossil fueled vehicles to electric and other low-emission modes of transportation is an important part of reducing our carbon pollution and fighting climate change. Transportation accounts for more than half of our community’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

An increasing number of electric vehicle (EV) and electric bicycle (e-bike) options are now available and BC now leads North America with the highest rate of EVs sold per capita! There are lots of reasons people are switching to electric transportation, such as:

  • blue car240saving money on commutes 
  • reducing carbon pollution
  • improving health and fitness

Thinking about charging your ride?

Here are 3 simple ways to learn more and explore options this summer:

Visit our Charge Your Ride display at various outdoor events to ask questions, get a feel for vehicle chargers, and see if an e-bike or EV would work for you and your family. Check out the list of upcoming events below!

Take a FREE e-bike course, offered through Capital Bike, to learn more about e-bikes and bike safety, followed by a fun guided road ride. Reserve your spot!

Learn about rebates and resources available to help you get started. Scroll down for more information and tools to help you Charge Your Ride.

Thank you for joining us at our Charge Your Ride test drive and ride events this summer!

Still have questions about electric vehicles or e-bikes? Our Charge Your Ride ambassadors will be at a variety of upcoming community events. Look for the bright blue tent labeled Charge Your Ride. Ask questions, take a closer look at our EV, e-bike, and EV chargers, and win small prizes! 

Rebates for electric vehicles

New electric vehicles purchased or leased in BC are eligible for up to $9000 in rebates:

  • Up to $5000 in federal rebates automatically applied at the point of sale
  • Up to $4000 in provincial rebates for income-qualified individuals and households (application required)

New plug-in hybrid electric vehicles purchased or leased in BC are eligible for up to $7000 in rebates:

  • Up to $5000 in federal rebates automatically applied at the point of sale
  • Up to $2000 in provincial rebates for income-qualified individuals and households (application required)

To view vehicle and income eligibility and apply for the provincial rebates, visit the CleanBC Go Electric Passenger Vehicle Rebate Program website.

To view vehicle eligibility for the federal rebates, visit the Federal Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program website.

The Scrap-It Program offers an additional $500 to scrap a combustion engine vehicle and buy a new or used EV.

Rebates for electric bikes

Rebates for charging infrastructure

Types of Charging

  • Level 1: Level 1 EV Chargers, sometimes called ‘trickle’ chargers are the slowest way to charge your EV. Taking between 20-24 hours to go from 0% to 100%, Level 1 EV Chargers can be used to top up your battery overnight at home with any regular 120V outlet.
  • Level 2: Level 2 EV Chargers are the most common residential and commercial charging type. Level 2 EV Chargers take approximately 8-10 hours to charge your EV from 0% to 80%. Level 2 EV Chargers can be installed by a certified electrician at home through a 240V connection.
  • Level 3: Level 3 EV chargers are often referred to as fast chargers as they are the quickest way to charge your EV; going from 0% to 80% in approximately 40 minutes. These chargers are typically found in public settings and are not yet manufactured for personal use.

Charging In Public

Public charging stations are often located in hubs such as malls, recreation centers and restaurants. Public charging rates range from free to about $3 an hour for Level 2 charging and from about $10-15 an hour (a full charge) for Level 3. Paying for public charging can be done using a regular credit card or through a charging station app.

There are over 200 public charging stations in the capital region! Check out these charging station maps, such as Charge Hub, PlugShare and FLO EV charging network are websites and apps that help you find the nearest available EV charger on a map.

Learn more about electric vehicles

What options are available for electrified vehicles?

  • Fully electric vehicles (EVs) use energy stored in a large, rechargeable battery to power the electric motor. These vehicles are the least expensive to run and do not produce any tailpipe emissions.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a battery that powers the vehicle for the first 30-60 km before the vehicle switches to operating like a regular gas powered hybrid. The battery can plug into the same chargers as fully electric vehicles to charge the battery, or fill up at the gas station if needed.
  • Hybrid vehicles have a gas combustion engine that is supplemented by an electric system to improve fuel economy. Hybrids generally have some form of regenerative braking to recharge the battery when the car slows down.

Check out this list of different makes and models of EVs and PHEVs offered in BC making it easy to compare vehicle ranges, costs and rebate eligibility. 

Can electric vehicles save you money?

  • In a recent report, Clean Energy Canada compared the lifetime costs of a variety of new electric vehicles to their gas equivalents. In almost every case, they reported electric vehicles to be cheaper in the long run. For example, the electric Hyundai Kona was found to be $10,500 cheaper than the combustion engine version of the Kona.
  • The cost of electricity needed to run and EV is much less than the cost of gas to run a similar combustion engine vehicle. For an example, per 100 km of driving an EV might cost $2-3 while a similar combustion vehicle costs $15-20*. That’s around 7x less!
  • Although EVs usually have higher retail price than gas cars, many models are eligible for federal and provincial rebates of up to $9,000 to help with the upfront cost. Learn more about provincial and federal rebates.
*At an electricity rate of $0.126/kWh and a gas price of $2.00/L. 

Will I run out of charge? Where can I charge my vehicle?

  • Most new electric vehicles can travel 300 to 600 km between charges. In Victoria and Saanich, residents drive just over 16 km per day on average–that means that most EV drivers could go more than two weeks on a single charge.
  • EV drivers can plug in to more than 250 public charging stations across the CRD, including 28 fast charging stations that will top up a low battery in about 20 minutes. Public chargers usually cost a few dollars for a charge, but many are free.
  • The PlugShare or Charge Hub websites and apps can be used to quickly find a nearby charger.
  • A string of fast-charging stations all across Vancouver Island now make electric-powered road trips possible and easy.
  • EV drivers often top up their vehicle’s battery overnight, just like plugging in their phone when they go to sleep. You can install a home charger or charge your EV using a standard wall outlet.
  • EV drivers are allowed to use carpool lanes even if only one person is in the vehicle, as long as they display the official decal.

Are EVs better for the environment?

  • Transportation accounts for more than half of the community emissions in the CRD. Switching to electric vehicles powered by hydroelectric power like we have in BC is an easy way to drastically reduce our carbon pollution.
  • Overall, EVs in BC generate 85 to 90% fewer emissions than gas cars over their lifetime, including the greater manufacturing emissions involved with their large batteries.
  • Without any tailpipe emissions, EVs also improve local air quality and reduce traffic engine noise. 

What are EVs like to drive?

  • Electric vehicles are fun to drive! EVs have plenty of get-up-and-go, resulting in a responsive and “zippy” ride.
  • Because of the electric motor, EVs accelerate smoothly and quietly without the lag of shifting gears.
  • Try one for yourself! Join us at one of our test drives events this summer. Chat to EV owners and get behind the wheel. See the “Upcoming Events” tab for more details. 

Learn more about electric bikes

Is an electric bike right for you?

  • Electric bicycles or e-bikes assist the rider’s pedaling efforts with an electric motor, allowing the you to go further, travel faster, climb hills more easily, and carry more in comparison to a regular bike.
  • In addition to reduced emissions, e-bikes also reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, increase user fitness, and cost much less than a vehicle to own and operate.
  • Cargo e-bikes are larger and more capable than regular e-bikes, allowing parents to carry children and groceries or small businesses to transport supplies; there’s an e-bike for everyone!

Not sure if an e-bike would work for you? Take a FREE e-bike course offered through Capital Bike to learn more about e-bikes, bike safety and if an e-bike might be right for you. Reserve your spot!

What does an e-bike cost?

  • Electric bikes start at around $1,000 and run as high as $7,500 for larger cargo bikes that can transport kids, or groceries, or both. A very good e-bike with accessories can be purchased for about $3,000.
  • The price can be reduced through Scrap-It BC. This program incentivizes individuals to ‘scrap’ their combustion vehicle in return for $750 towards an e-bike. 

How far will an e-bike take you?

  • Electric bikes can travel between 30 and 160 km depending on the capacity of your battery, degree of electric assist selected, the amount of hill climbing, and how much cargo is being carried. 
  • If you ever run out of charge, you can ride an e-bike as you would a regular pedal bike. It will just feel a bit heavier than a regular bike.

Who can ride an e-bike?

  • Anyone over the age of 16 is allowed to operate an e-bike in British Columbia.
  • Whether one has mobility issues, is carrying cargo or children, has longer commutes, or wants some assistance on our region’s many hills, e-bikes offer quick and convenient transportation option. Riding an e-bike is very similar to riding a regular bicycle. 

Enter to win an e-bike!

Enter the Contest

Contact us

Do you have questions about Charge Your Ride? Please contact us.

Thank you

Charge Your Ride is made possible by a financial contribution from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative.

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Thank you to our municipal partners:

and others!