SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
With, the recent installment of an electric car charging station at Lakeridge Health Oshawa, and the government of Ontario giving a provincial rebate to those who lease or purchase an electric car, there is no better time to make the switch.
“The government of Ontario is giving money back when you purchase an electric car, and when you install a car charger at your home,” said Guillaume Lavallée, Project Director of Ecosystem Energy.
The government of Ontario is offering a cash rebate, of between $3,000 and $14,000, for the purchase of a new electric car. The provincial government is also covering 50% of the purchase and installment costs of electric charging stations, for a value of up to $1000. The rebates are part of a provincial initiative to reduce carbon emissions in Ontario.
Electric car drivers don’t only save money on the initial purchase of their vehicle and charging station, they also save a ton of money on gas each week.
“My car maybe cost me 30 to 35 dollars a month in electricity. So it’s very cheap compared to gas,” said Manon Lemonde, electric car owner. “You don’t have to do oil changes, and its very low maintenance.”
Apart from the cost aspect, Manon told the Standard, electric cars are also a much smoother vehicle to drive. The cars have no transmission in the engine, so there is no shifting of gears as the car accelerates, which makes it a more pleasant experience for the driver.
“I love the acceleration, it’s a nice drive and I don’t have to be at the garage every second month with something broken,” Manon said. “It’s so cheap to maintain, I will keep it until I die.”
Port Perry resident and electric car driver, Tim St. Pierre is of a similar mindset.
“The cost of fuel and maintenance is an immediate economic benefit, if you do any driving at all. Even if you lease one or finance one, you’re going to save money right from day one,” Tim said.
He hopes to see more electric cars on the road and more charging stations nearby, as electric cars become more affordable.
“For every charging station that goes in, it may make the difference for somebody saying I don’t need a gas car anymore,” said Tim St. Pierre, electric car driver.
Currently, most electric car drivers depend on the charging station located in their homes, to get a full charge for the day. But, sometimes it isn’t quite enough electricity to get the cars where the drivers want them to go.
When Tim has to make a long trip, he uses an app called Plugshare that maps out where the closest available charging stations are.
The app allows electric car drivers to post there charging stations, and allow other electric car drivers to use them, when they’re not home. Charging stations can be reviewed, so drivers can let others know if the station is not working properly or in use.
Tim told the Standard, designated charging stations at public building serve as an economic benefit to the area they’re in.
He said, it takes an hour to fully charge the car, so people who are charging their cars, while out of town, will likely shop or grab a bite to eat while they wait.
“It’s definitely a benefit to the area, and the more people that do it the more it benefits the community at large,” Tim said. “It just makes all those extra little trips possible.”
Neil Clarke, Director of Engineering, Infrastructure, and Security at Lakeridge Health, said they had inquiries about a charging station for a while and hopes it will benefit those who use it.
“The station itself is monitored by the parking folks here, and remotely they can track exactly how much is being used and who’s using it,” Neil said. “If this is used on a regular basis, 24/7, then we will look at expanding it.”
Tim hopes to see more stations soon, to make smart cars that much more practical and help people switch from gas.
He said, “Don’t be afraid of them. Try them out and have an open mind.”
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