April 19, 2024
Buying an EV can save you money the longer and farther you drive it: UBC study

A study from researchers at the University of British Columbia is making an economic case for purchasing an electric vehicle.

The research found that while electric vehicles may have higher up-front costs, they can offer long-term financial benefits. 

Bassam Javed, one of the researchers, said the UBC team set out to look at how expensive electric vehicles were across the country for various households.

Javed said that over a seven-year period in B.C., it would cost about $8,000 more to own an electric vehicle compared to a gas vehicle.

“They’re more expensive up front, but they’re cheaper to run, so it kind of becomes a question of where does the math actually add up,” he said. “The more you drive an electric vehicle, the more electric mileage you have so to speak, the more savings you actually accrue over time.”

Javed said that British Columbians would have to drive about 64 kilometres per day over seven years in order for the gasoline and the electric car to be equal in value.

While savings differed depending on the province or territory, Javed said the team was surprised with the savings a consumer could gain even when switching to a small EV.

“And that’s a bit of a fact we’re hoping to shout from the rooftops here, because we think Canadians should know about that,” Javed said.

By 2035, all new, light-duty vehicles sold in B.C. will have to be emission-free. 

According to the study, it appears some provinces are more prepared to make the switch than others. It found Quebec was the most favourable jursidiction for EVs, but B.C. wasn’t far behind due to provincial programs like the Go Electric EV Charger Rebate Program.

“In 2023, 22.9 per cent of new car sales were electric vehicles,” said Josie Osborne, the minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation. “We know people want to make that change and we’re helping to support them.”

Javed added for those wanting to take advantage of the province’s programs, now is a good time to do so.

“Especially if you’re an individual who drives a lot,” he added. 

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