Charging electric vehicles

About 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. You can charge your car conveniently at home or at a growing number of charging stations at Ontario malls, restaurants, hotels and workplaces.

Your EV can be plugged right into a standard household or workplace outlet to charge, also known as Level 1 (110V, 15amps) charging.  It can take up to 8-20 hours to fully charge an EV at Level 1.

Level 2 charging stations use a 240 volt system (similar to a clothes dryer plug) and can fully charge a vehicle from 0 per cent charge in about four to six hours.

If you received the provincial rebate on a purchased or leased EV you are eligible for a rebate on a Level 2 charging station.

Level 3 charging stations (also known as Direct Current Fast Chargers or DCFC) use a 480 volt system and can charge a vehicle to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes.  These stations allow EV drivers to charge their vehicles about eight times faster than Level 2 charging stations, making longer trips more feasible for EV drivers.

Travel distance per charge

New EVs can typically travel at least 100 kilometres on a single charge. Some battery EVs can go up to 160 kilometres on one charge, while plug-in hybrid electrics may travel more than 500 kilometres using a combination of battery and gasoline engine technology. 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 don't 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.

How long does it take to charge?

Charging times vary depending on things like temperature, your current level of battery charge and your battery capacity:

  • Plug-in hybrid: 1-4 hours to be fully charged on Level 2
  • Battery EV: 4-8 hours to be fully charged (from 0 to 100%) on Level 2

On average cars are parked at home for up to 14 hours per day and at work for up to eight hours a day. All that time may be available for charging.

Cost of Charging

charging an electric vehicle at a public charging station

If you only have one hour you can charge for one hour and go - you don't need to charge to 100% all at once.

On average a typical battery EV will cost less than $300 per year, or about $0.78 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 between $1,000 and $2,500 per year to fuel - up to eight times more money spent each day. *3

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, but every neighbourhood is unique. 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 500 Level 2 and a small number of Level 3 charging stations in Ontario today.   

In addition, the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) program is sparking an unprecedented expansion in new charging infrastructure across the province.  Electric vehicle owners will soon be able to plan longer trips with more confidence because a charging station will be more readily available, similar to gas stations. The specific location of each station that will be installed, and information on the status of construction , can be found found on the EVCO webpage or by visiting the Ontario 511 Traveller Information Service.

Resources

For more information about charging electric vehicles, visit:

Additional information may be available from local utilities, including:

For more information about your electricity:

1Value for Nissan Leaf, adapted from Natural Resources Canada 2013 Fuel Consumption Guide, using Ontario off-peak electricity prices as of May 2013, based on an average annual driving distance of 20,000 km.

2Value for Chevrolet Volt, adapted from Natural Resources Canada 2013 Fuel Consumption Guide, using Ontario off-peak electricity prices as of May 2013 and a gas price of $1.30/litre, based on an average annual driving distance of 20,000 km.

3Estimate based on values from Natural Resources Canada 2013 Fuel Consumption Guide and a gas price of $1.30/litre.

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