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Personal: Transportation

Electricity – Battery-electric and hybrid vehicles

What are electric vehicles?
Availability and Cost
Safety and Performance

Availability and Cost


Battery-electric vehicles

Most battery-electric vehicles in North America today are found in California, due to that state's stringent emissions standards and the availability of emissions credits.

Hybrid electric vehicles

A limited range of hybrid electric vehicles are commercially available in Canada. More are scheduled to be introduced over the next few years.


Battery-electric vehicles

Electricity is the most widely available energy source in Canada, thus using it to power our vehicles makes sense. Most battery-electric vehicles can be recharged from a standard 240-volt, 40-amp electrical outlet (which is used for stoves and clothes dryers in most homes), and some can be recharged from a 110-volt service. Using a 240-volt service, cars, light-duty trucks and delivery vehicles can be charged overnight for about $2.40, given an average electricity price of 8 cents per kWh. Some areas even offer off-peak rates at night.

But once you have left home, it is difficult and time consuming to refuel. Researchers are aiming to develop the capacity to recharge a 150-kWh battery in less than 15 minutes. In the meantime, public charging sites have been set up in some U.S. states, including California and Arizona, often through cooperation between automakers and municipalities.

Hybrid electric vehicles

None of the commercially available hybrid electric vehicles need to be plugged in, because the motors use regenerative braking, coasting or the gasoline engine to recharge the batteries. Gas consumption can be less than half that of a regular gasoline vehicle.