All Charged Up. Why electric vehicles (EVs) are driving the future

Whether you own an EV or you're thinking about buying one, here's how to avoid any potential bumps in the road.

Why buy?

6 powerful perks

Money back

Get money back

Reduce upfront costs with government incentives up to $14,000.

Less expensive than gas

Less expensive than gas

Save hundreds of dollars a year on fuel while reducing maintenance costs too.*

Better for the environment

Better for the environment

EVs produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gas-fuelled cars.

No more range anxiety

No more range anxiety

Drive 140-450 km on a single charge. That’s like driving from Toronto to Peterborough!

Enjoy green benefits

Enjoy green benefits

Green licence plates provide access to certain HOV lanes to help get you to your destination faster.

Easy and convenient

Easy and convenient

Quick chargers can provide a full battery charge in less than an hour – and if you need a boost, public charging stations are available province-wide.

*Driving a 1.5L 4-cylinder Honda Civic 20,000 km/year will cost $1,265 in gasoline, based on $0.93/l. Driving a Nissan Leaf the same distance will cost $484 to charge, based on $0.13/kWh. That's a savings of $781 per year.

Compare the costs**

EV battery

$300 per year to charge

$0.78 per day

(charging at night)

Hybrid EV

$700 per year
to fuel/charge

$1.92 per day

(both gasoline and electricity)

Gas vehicles

$1,000 – $2,500 per year to fuel

Up to 8 times more spent each day!


** Source: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/vehicles/electric/charging-electric-vehicle.shtml#Resources

Is an EV right for you?

Take this short quiz to find out

Illustration of an EV driving in the city
Thinking about an EV?

Thinking about buying an EV?

What to know before you hit the road

Before you sign on the dotted line for your new EV, there are a few details to iron out.

Charging your car

House

If you live in a house

First, you must have your own garage or driveway. You must have a safe, unobstructed location to install your charging station. It’s not possible to install charging stations on the boulevard, so if you rely on street parking, an EV may not be the right choice for you right now.

Apartements

If you live in an apartment or condo

If your building has not completed the initial wiring necessary to install a charging meter in your parking spot, this process can become very costly. You must also have written approval from your condo board to install a charging meter, so it’s best to check with property management before you invest in an EV.

Can your home handle the electrical load?

Electrical load

An EV can add significant electrical load to your home. Sometimes, your electrical service has to be upgraded or a new meter has to be installed in order to charge your EV. In this case, you should hire a licensed electrical contractor to assess your home and determine whether it can handle the EV model of your choice. Need some help finding the right contractor? Find a list of credible workers in the Toronto area on the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)’s website.

Does Toronto Hydro have to get involved?

When to contact Toronto Hydro

If your contractor determines that you need to upgrade your electrical service, you must complete an Application for Service form and submit it to customerrequest@torontohydro.com. If necessary, Toronto Hydro will schedule a site visit at your home and will provide you with a list of requirements necessary to complete the installation.

Take advantage of up to $14,000 in incentives

Incentives

Explore any rebates and incentives that you might be eligible for if you purchase or lease an EV – up to $14,000 off the purchase of an electric car and up to $1,000 to install a home charging station. The Ministry of Transportation lists all eligible vehicles – and incentives – on its website.

Take note of additional costs

Additional costs

Aside from the cost of the work done by your contractor, you should be aware of any additional monthly fees from Toronto Hydro. For example, if you have to install another meter to connect your EV, you’ll be responsible for paying for two delivery charges on a monthly basis – one per meter.

Register your EV with Toronto Hydro

Register your EV

This registration information is vital to help ensure that Toronto Hydro is providing safe and reliable service to our customers. It also allows us to manage and prepare for additional electrical loads coming onto the grid. Please provide your address, as well as your EV make and model. You can email us here.

Connecting your car at home:

Choose a charger

Choose an EV charger

The amount of time it takes to charge your vehicle will depend on your charger. There are different charging speeds available at different price points:

Level 1
120-volt
slowest charge

Your new EV will come with a 120-volt charging cord that can easily be plugged into any wall-socket.

Level 2
240-volt
the popular choice

These 240-volt chargers, available at hardware stores for $800–$1,200 can be installed in your driveway or garage and are also available at public charging locations.

Level 3
480-volt
lightning fast

These ultra-fast chargers can charge your vehicle in 25-30 minutes. Generally, level three chargers are found at public charging stations.

Schedule the work

Schedule the work

Work with your licensed electrical contractor to determine if you need to upgrade your household service. If required, complete an application for service and schedule the work with your contractor and Toronto Hydro.

ESA permits and inspection

ESA permits and inspection

Work with your licensed electrical contractor to take out a permit, install the charger and schedule an Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) inspection. Find more information about the process here.

Already own an EV?

Already own an EV?

Get plugged in with these helpful tips

Shift charging to off-peak hours to save

Off peak hours

Weekdays

7 p.m. - 7 a.m.

All day weekends and statutory holidays

Just like running the dishwasher or clothes dryer in the evening helps you save on your home’s energy costs, charging your EV during off-peak hours provides the highest cost-savings and comes from the cleanest sources of electricity. Our research shows that some EV owners still plug in during mid-peak hours, especially when arriving home from work. Some charging stations have a delay start function that helps owners manage their electricity costs, while still having the convenience of plugging in as soon as you arrive home.

For the cheapest electricity rates, charge your EV between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. during the week, and all day Saturday, Sunday and on statutory holidays. Our regulator, the Ontario Energy Board's (OEB) time-of-use rates change bi-annually. See time-of-use prices for more information.

Helpful Resources