We are electric vehicle drivers in Richmond offering information for drivers interested in switching to an electric vehicle as a primary or secondary vehicle. Richmond has an ideal environment for electric vehicles, but they do not necessarily meet everyone's needs. For those interested in reducing their household's direct greenhouse gas emissions, switching to an electric vehicle has by far the greatest impact. While environmental concerns are often a factor in the decision to switch to an electric vehicle, the main reason is usually the sheer fun of the electric driving experience.About Us Detailed Information
Richmond does not get very hot or cold, both of which reduce battery performance. Richmond is also very flat so battery range is not reduced by the extra power needed to climb steep hills. Richmond's electricity is generated by hydro power so there are no fossil fuels being burned to charge the vehicle. Gas engine vehicle use accounts for 44.6% of household greenhouse gas emissions compared to 16.6% for space heating and cooling and 8% for water heating.
There is a list here of vehicles available in BC with an electric range of at least 75 km.
The first step is to determine the maximum daily range that you need in an electric vehicle to feel comfortable. There is a detailed discussion of range here.
For occasional longer trips, an electric vehicle with a gas engine range extender, a gas engine second car or a rental car can be the answer. The two car option lets you benefit fully from the advantages of both types of vehicle while you evaluate how the electric vehicle experience suits your lifestyle. Your current gas engine vehicle can be used for longer vacation trips and the odd day when two drivers in the family need a vehicle at the same time. The additional operating cost is mainly insurance.
However if your gas engine vehicle is in very poor condition, it has been attractive to scrap it and take advantage of the incentives offered by BC SCRAP-IT for those who both scrap a gas engine vehicle and purchase a designated electric vehicle from an authorized dealer. The incentive is $6,000 if a new electric vehicle is purchased and $3,000 if it is used.
The program has been renewed for 2018, but the available incentives have been allocated to each participating dealer and the regulations require that you first get the dealer to assign an incentive to your electric vehicle order and then apply to BC SCRAP-IT. If you do scrap your gas vehicle, you can always take public transportation, a cab or rent a second vehicle should the need arise.
You can charge your vehicle using a standard 120V electrical outlet, but it will take forever. Most owners install a 240V level 2 charging station in their garage or carport which is similar to installing an outlet for an electric clothes dryer. It is important to verify that there is sufficient power available in the home. Most electric vehicles can be programmed to charge in the middle of the night when demand on the electric grid is very low making surplus power available.
There is a rebate program for single-family or duplex homeowners who have purchased and installed an eligible 240V level 2 charger after January 31, 2018. Home owners can request reimbursement for 75% for the purchase and installation of a charging station up to $750. Details here.
The distance from Richmond Centre to Canada Place in downtown Vancouver is 16 km. Two return trips downtown in one day with an extra margin for safety would be 75 km, well within the range of the electric vehicles listed here. Electric vehicles comfortably zip along silently at highway speeds although high speed reduces range.
A Ford Focus Electric charging at the Steveston Community Centre
In the 75 km per day scenario, you don't need to find a charging station. Most electric vehicle drivers charge their vehicles overnight at their residence and rarely use public charging stations. When one is needed, there are over 90 public charging stations in Vancouver and another 25 in Richmond.
Yes, a Tesla is very expensive for the average budget, but there are plenty of affordable alternatives with a range of 75 km or more. The alternatives are eligible for a BC Government rebate of $5,000. There are also frequent manufacturer's cash incentives. If you are scrapping a gas engine vehicle at the same time, BC SCRAP-IT offers an additional $6,000 incentive if a new electric vehicle is purchased, and $3,000 if it is used. Incentives are limited and it's important to read the regulations. There are links to used electric vehicle sources on our Dealers page.
There is information here on agencies that rent electric vehicles in Richmond. Plug-in Richmond members get a 5% discount.
Battery replacement is rare. A typical new electric vehicle warranty guarantees that the battery's capacity will not drop below 70% in the first 8 years or 160,000 km. The replacement cost of the Nissan Leaf's battery is in the $7,000 range. That cost is offset by the considerable savings on maintenance over the life of the vehicle.
This free 4" x 4" vinyl sticker can be placed almost anywhere on an electric vehicle and can be moved or removed without damaging the paint:
This 3" high by 11" wide removable vinyl sticker would look fine on the bumper of any vehicle:
Free membership for electric car drivers and associate membership for prospective drivers allows you to participate in both lobbying efforts to promote the use electric vehicles and programs to provide advice to those considering an electric vehicle.