It’s getting easier to crunch the relative costs and benefits of owning an electric vehicle (EV). As EVs evolve, drivers considering the electric option have access to more information and choices (see “Electric vehicle types”) than ever. There are now enough EVs under $40,000, available in B.C., to ignite debate about affordability. While the initial purchase price of an electric car is higher than most similar-sized internal-combustion engine equivalents, the up-to-$5,000 provincial rebate, plus yearly savings on fuel and maintenance, make for some interesting math.

2017 Nissan Leaf
It debuted in Canada in 2011 and is the world’s top-selling electric car, with more than 250,000 now on roads globally. It’s a relatively affordable vehicle that, for 2017, made the larger 30 kWh battery (up to 172 km of range) standard for all trim levels. If you want all the bells and whistles, including a seven-inch touchscreen, you’ll need to upgrade to the SV or SL models. $37,000, nissan.ca

Nissan Blue

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Compact and quick are just two words that describe this battery electric hatchback, which accelerates from 0 to 96 km/h in less than seven seconds. But the keys for this newcomer are its promised 383 km range and pre-rebate price of about $43,000. It’s earning very positive early reviews and could be the car that takes electric to the masses. $43,000, chevrolet.ca 

Nissan 3

2017 Tesla Model S
You don’t have to be an EV enthusiast to love the Tesla Model S (shown below). Since its debut, it has wowed with its style, range (435 km on average) and speed, delivering 0-to-100 km acceleration in 4.4 seconds (2.4 seconds in the P100D version’s “Ludicrous Plus” mode). $95,000, tesla.ca

Nissan 2

     

Other products you might like . . .

Dahon  Mariner
D7 + BionX P350DL bike
This aluminum-framed bike from Dahon gets electric assistance from the BionX battery booster, making commuting and touring easier. It can reach 80 km on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery. Plus it folds up compactly (it weighs 19 kg) for taking on trips. $2,805, jvbike.com

Dahon Mariner

 

Public transit
SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express. Rapid transit options in Metro Vancouver are popular for daily commutes and lighten our carbon footprint. But why not ride into the weekend? Bring your bike aboard your favourite “train” or secure it to the front of a bus during non-peak hours.

Public Transit

Make the switch

Did you know that standby power can account for 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use? Unplug unused electronics such as video-game consoles, computers and small kitchen appliances to save $50 a year.