With the new reality of record high gas prices combined with the increasing awareness about the impacts of climate change, more Canadians are considering the merits of switching to an electric vehicle. Some may be concerned about the higher upfront cost of an EV but a new report aims to clarify the matter.
Clean Energy Canada’s new report, The True Cost, provides a clearer picture of the total ownership costs of equivalent electric and gas cars — from purchasing, to refuelling, to maintenance — and the electric car comes out cheaper than the gas alternative in every case.
For this report, Clean Energy Canada analyzed a number of popular electric car models, comparing their total ownership costs with that of gas equivalents. Our assumptions were relatively conservative: we assumed eight years of ownership, driving 20,000 kilometers a year.
And without exception, the electric version of every car analyzed was cheaper, usually significantly so.
The Hyundai Kona provides a useful case study: it was Canada’s second best-selling EV in 2021 (after the Tesla Model 3), and it has a modestly priced gas version that makes for an easy comparison.
Yet despite the lower sticker price of the conventional car, the Kona’s EV model is a lot cheaper when all is said and done, with a $56,000 lifetime cost compared to $71,100 for the gas version.
If one may think stratospheric gas prices are the primary culprit, the calculation uses average gas prices from 2021 ($1.35 per litre). Calculated with $2-per-litre gas, as we’ve seen in parts of Canada this past month, the fossil-fuel-powered Kona costs $79,700 over eight years. That’s a price difference of roughly $24,000—nearly enough to buy another car.
According to the authors, “Ultimately, the road to clean energy is affordable energy. And there really is no time like the present to accelerate into that future as fast as possible, even if it means overcoming a few speed bumps.”
- Clean Energy Canada analyzed a number of popular electric car models, comparing their total ownership costs with that of gas equivalents. Without exception, the electric version of every car analyzed was cheaper, usually significantly so.
- The analysis found that the electric Hyundai Kona, Canada’s second best-selling EV in 2021 (after the Tesla Model 3), is $15,000 cheaper to own than the gas-powered Kona.
- If gas prices were to average $2, as we’ve seen in parts of Canada this past month, the electric Kona is $24,000 cheaper to own than the gas-powered Kona.
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