Charging electric vehicles

About Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging

Find out about how and when to charge your electric vehicle.

charging an electric vehicle at home

Driving an electric vehicle (EV) means you won't have to visit the gas station very often, or at all.

Your EV can be plugged right into a standard outlet to charge, also known as Level 1 (110V, 15amps) charging.  Level 1 charging adds about 8 kilometers of range per hour, and for owners of plug-in hybrid electric cars this is usually enough.

Level 2 charging, common in both private households and in public places, use a 240 volt system (similar to a clothes dryer plug) and adds 30-50 kilometers of range per hour.

Level 3 charging stations (also known as Direct Current Fast Chargers or DCFC) use a 480 volt system and can add more than 100 kilometres of range per hour. These stations make longer trips feasible for EV drivers.

Travel distance per charge

New fully electric cars can typically travel at least 200 kilometres on a single charge. Some plug-in hybrid electric cars can travel 40-80 kilometres on electric, with an additional 500-900 kilometres of gas range. The distance an EV can travel depends on:

  • the vehicle technology (battery electric or plug-in hybrid)
  • battery size
  • weight carried
  • temperature
  • accessories in use
  • an individual's driving style

EVs do not run out of charge unexpectedly. As with gasoline-powered vehicles, the dashboard display will indicate your level of charge so you can plan your trips accordingly.

Cost of Charging

charging an electric vehicle at a public charging station

On average a typical battery EV will cost less than $530 per year, or about $1.45 per day to charge at night. *1

A typical plug-in hybrid EV will cost about $700 per year, or $1.92 per day for fuel (including gasoline and electricity costs). *2

Comparable gasoline cars can cost about $2,500 per year to fuel - up to eight times more money spent each day. *3

Use Natural Resources Canada's Fuel Consumption Ratings Search Tool to compare the fuel consumption information of different models.

Installing an Electric Vehicle Charging Station

As EVs become increasingly popular among Ontarians, charging stations are being installed in residential, commercial and industrial locations across the province.

If you are planning to install an EV charging station, here are some important steps to follow:

  1. Make sure the installer takes out a permit with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) prior to starting the installation.
  2. Installation is required to be done by a Licensed Electrical Contractor in compliance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. You can easily verify or find a licensed electrical contractor online at www.esasafe.com
  3. Confirm that all equipment is certified for use in Canada by a nationally recognized certification agency – CSA, cUL, cETL – or displays other certification marks approved by ESA.

For more information about EV charging station installation, visit www.esasafe.com.

Charging overnight

electricity transmission lines

Charging your EV at night is cheaper and even greener. When you charge at night you can take advantage of significantly lower energy prices.

Charging your electric vehicle at night means you're using off-peak electricity generated by cleaner energy sources like wind, hydro and nuclear, unlike during the day when natural gas may be required to meet peak demand.

At any time of day charging your EV with Ontario electricity will result in far fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less air pollution than a car would generate by burning gasoline or diesel.

Ontario has the capacity needed to meet the anticipated electricity demand from EVs in the foreseeable future. You can contact your local electricity utility to help ensure smooth, reliable charging for your electric vehicle.

Where to charge an EV

In addition to recharging at home, you can recharge your EV at publicly available charging stations.  There are over 1,200 Level 2 and 3 charging stations with over 3,200 charging outlets in Ontario today.

Resources

For more information about your electricity:

1Value for Nissan Leaf, adapted from Natural Resources Canada 2018/19 Fuel Consumption Guide, using Ontario off-peak electricity prices, based on an average annual driving distance of 20,000 km.

2Value for Chevrolet Volt, adapted from Natural Resources Canada 2018/19 Fuel Consumption Guide, using Ontario off-peak electricity prices and a gas price of $1.20/litre, based on an average annual driving distance of 20,000 km.

3Estimate based on values from Natural Resources Canada 2018/19 Fuel Consumption Guide and a gas price of $1.20/litre.

Back to Top