We are promoting the appropriate use of plug-in electric vehicles in Richmond, BC, Canada.

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

Electric Vehicle Teaching Materials for K-12

The City of Richmond has introduced the Richmond EVie Lesson Toolkit (RELT), a comprehensive digital teaching package designed for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students. This program was conceived in collaboration with Plug-in Richmond, Plug-in BC, Emotive and youth in the City's Electric Vehicle Ambassadors program. The City received a grant from the Emotive Community Outreach Incentive Program to promote Electric Vehicle (EV) awareness and spark creativity and innovation among youth.

To introduce the Toolkit to students in Richmond School District 38, the City is sponsoring a Short Video Challenge and a Design Challenge. Students in School District 38 can win prizes and have their entries featured on Emotive's social media platforms.

The Bottom Line

  • The Richmond Advantage

    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.

  • The Options

    There is a list here of vehicles which have a minimum range of 160 km.

    The first step is to determine the maximum range that you need in an electric vehicle to feel comfortable. For Richmond owners, an electric range of 80 km allows for more than two return trips to downtown Vancouver in one day plus an extra margin for safety. For longer trips, we recommend 363 km of range for two hours of highway driving and 525 km for three hours. There is a detailed discussion of range requirements to particular destinations here.

    Some people have purchased a cheaper electric vehicle with relatively short range for daily use and opted to keep their gas engine vehicle for long distance trips. However the range of electric vehicles has been increasing rapidly while the vehicle prices have remained stable.

    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 $500 if a new or used electric vehicle is purchased.

    The incentives are allocated to each participating dealer and the regulations require that you first get the dealer to assign an incentive to your electric vehicle order.

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    Charging at Home

    You can charge your vehicle using a standard 120V electrical outlet (level 1 charging), but it will take forever. Most owners install a 240V outlet (level 2) in their garage or carport which is similar to installing an outlet for an electric clothes dryer. Tesla vehicles, the Nissan Leaf PLUS and Audi e-tron can plug directly into the outlet. Other vehicles require a charging station (EVSE) that plugs into the outlet and connects to the vehicle. 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.

Home Charging

Common Concerns

  • Range Anxiety

    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 80 km, well within the range of the electric vehicles listed here. For longer trips, we recommend 365 km of range for two hours of highway driving and 525 km for three hours.

  • Range Discussion
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    EV charging station at the Steveston Community Centre

    Finding a Charging Station

    In the 80 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.

  • Public Charging
  • High Cost of Purchase

    Yes, the luxury electric vehicles are very expensive for the average budget, but there are plenty of affordable alternatives with a range of 300 km or more. Most of the alternatives are eligible for both a Federal Government rebate of $5,000 and an additional BC Government rebate to a maximum of $4,000. Details here.

    If you are scrapping a gas engine vehicle at the same time, BC SCRAP-IT offers an additional $500 incentive if a new or used electric vehicle is purchased.

    There is information on used electric vehicles on our Used Vehicles page.

  • Purchase Cost
  • Try Before You Buy

    There is information here on agencies that rent electric vehicles in Richmond. Plug-in Richmond members get a 5% discount.

  • What About Hydrogen?

    Although hydrogen fuel vehicles are zero emission, most hydrogen production is not. Natural gas reforming produces hydrogen using high temperature steam which usually involves greenhouse gas emissions. Electrolysis produces hydrogen using electricity which wastes electricity compared to putting the electricity directly into the vehicle battery.

    It takes less time to refuel using hydrogen which may make it more attractive for trucks and commercial vehicles.

New for 2022 and 2023

  • Passenger Vehicles

    New 2022 models include the BMW i4 and iX, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Mercedes EQS, Nissan Ariya, Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, Rivian R1S, Plaid versions of Tesla Model S and Model X, and Volkswagen ID.4.

    Hyundai Ioniq 5

    New 2023 models expected in late 2022 include the Cadillac Lyriq, Genesis GV60, Lucid Air, Mercedes EQE, Subaru Solterra, Toyota bZ4X and Vinfast VF8 and VF9.

  • New Vehicles
  • Used 2020 and 2021 Models

    A large number of used 2020 and 2021 models are widely available at prices usually exceeding that of the corresponding new 2022 model. This is due to the shortage of 2022 models and long delivery times.

  • Used Vehicles
  • Pickups and Cargo Vans

    The first widely available electric pickups and cargo vans are expected in 2022 with more arriving in 2023. We have preliminary specifications.

  • Pickups & Vans

HOV Lane Permit

  • HOV Access for Single Occupant

    The BC Government is now issuing a special sticker for electric vehicles that permits use of the HOV lane even if the only occupant is the driver. The details are available on the BC Government website here. The application form can be downloaded here.


Operating Cost

  • Savings on Gas and Maintenance

    The higher purchase cost of an electric vehicle can be recovered in as little as 4 years due to the much lower operating cost which comes from both the lower cost of electricity compared to gas and the lower maintenance cost due to the far lesser number of moving parts and fluids.

  • Battery Replacement Cost

    Battery replacement is rare. Batteries in the newest models are expected to last the life of the vehicle. 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 battery replacement cost is generally in the $7,500 range. That cost is offset by the considerable savings on maintenance over the life of the vehicle.

  • Operating Cost