EV Driver 101
Thinking about getting an electric vehicle?
Below, some useful information and a few links to help you decide.
Find out the difference to make the right choice.
> Discover the differences In French only
Both the federal and provincial governments offer incentive to encourage people to buy electric cars. Find out more about these measures here.
Thanks to the Association des véhicules électriques du Québec [Québec electric vehicle association], you can take an electric vehicle out for a spin with its owner. Sign up for a free test drive in your region:
The calculator suggests EV models based on your needs and forecasts your potential savings.
Looking for advice on buying and installing a home charging station?
> Home charging station buyer's guide [in French]
> Tips for installing your home charging station [in French]
10 key facts for new EV drivers
1. In winter, charging at a fast-charge station (50 kW and up) will take longer. The charging time depends on a number of factors, including battery temperature. For example, if the vehicle has been parked in a cold spot for a prolonged period and had not gone very far before charging, then it will take longer to charge the battery using a fast-charger. Some vehicles come with a battery temperature indicator that lets you estimate the total charge time (refer to your vehicle’s user manual).
2. After the battery charge level reaches a certain threshold, charging may be slower at a fast-charge station (50 kW) than at a level-2 charging station (7.2 kW). At this point, you could save money by plugging your vehicle into a standard (level-2) charging station if you absolutely have to continue charging.
3. In the vast majority of cases, using an EV instead a gas- or diesel-powered car in Québec reduces both your carbon footprint and your overall car ownership costs (purchase price and operating expenses).
4. Buying an EV can mean switching mechanics. The Association des véhicules électriques du Québec (AVÉQ) has drawn up a list of garages specialized in electric and hybrid vehicle repairs and maintenance. Ask your mechanic if they are experienced dealing with these types of vehicles.
5. There are two different types of connectors that let you plug into a fast-charge station: CHaDeMO and CCS Combo. Only vehicles with a CHaDeMO connector (or CHaDeMO adaptor in the case of Tesla and BYD vehicles) or a CCS Combo connector are compatible with fast-charge stations (50 kW and more). All plug-in vehicles have a plug or adapter (Tesla) compatible with 240-volt (7.2 kW) stations.
6. If the connector remains locked in the car socket even after you’ve finished charging, don't panic! It could be due to a vehicle software glitch, particularly with the Combo 2 connector. Consult your car’s user manual to find out how to release the connector manually (e.g. by pressing a button or pulling a handle).
7. At home, always leave your vehicle plugged in when not using it. However, at work and at public charging stations, you’re strongly encouraged to unplug and move your vehicle once you’ve finished charging, thus leaving the station free for other EV drivers to use.
8. Charge your vehicle at a fast-charge station after a long journey, not before you leave. The battery will have warmed up, meaning it will be closer to its rated operating temperature, which will make the charging process more efficient.
9. Ideally, stop to recharge the battery when its charge level has gone below 30%. Above 30%, the battery tends to charge more slowly.
10. Lastly, charge for shorter periods but more frequently, and in the optimal charging range. For instance, it’s often quicker to do two charges that get your battery from 20% to 50% than it is to charge once, aiming go from 20% to 80%.