Can the average family afford an EV?



As we continue to look at the future of EVs in Canada, one of the questions we keep coming back to is, “Can the average family afford an EV?” It’s no secret that the price tag for a Tesla is out of reach for many Canadians, but how about other EVs? As electricians, we install EV chargers, but we don’t get to meet every single person who drives the EVs using these chargers, so we’ve done a little homework to see whether the average person can currently afford an EV.

MoneySense (1) Canada tells us that if your household income is between $60,000-$85,000 a year, you are considered to be part of the middle class. If we take a look at the top ten cars sold in Canada and compare their prices, we can get a general idea of the average amount someone spends on a new car.

Costs for Top Fuel-Powered Cars

According to the Globe and Mail, the average cost of the top ten cars sold in Canada (2), this year, is $20,119 (3) . Now, statistics like this can be misleading because they don’t take into account used cars and many Canadian families purchase cars that way. But as we keep that in mind, we can still use these numbers to see whether or not purchasing an EV would be a huge leap for the 141,735 families who did purchase the highest selling cars in Canada in 2013 (January – May)(4).

Costs for Top EVs

In order to do a quick comparison, we took at look at Sun Country Highway’s list of the top five most affordable EVs (5). The average cost among these five EVs was $32,473. In other words, EVs are more expensive than the kinds of cars most Canadians are buying – which is what we expected.

But what about the savings? says that Canadians usually keep their new cars for 6.5 years, so let’s only look at the savings an EV could offer in that time. According to energy efficiency study done by Inside Toronto, having an EV would save you around $2,000 each year  (6). You could also add an extra $8,500 to that number with federal and provincial government grants and incentives for EV owners(7).

Because EVs currently won’t usually affect your insurance if you live in Ontario (8), in your 6.5 years of owning an EV, you would be saving $21,500.

Savings make up the difference when buying an EV

So there you have it! Shelling out the extra dough for an EV will pay off when you factor in the savings it brings in through government incentives and fuel.

What do you think? Would you pay more upfront for these potential savings? Let us know by writing a comment or getting in touch with us on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in “Canada’s Emerging EV Culture

Sources: (1) MoneySense (2), (4)The Globe and Mail (3) The Car Magazine  (5) Sun Country Highway  (6) Inside Toronto  (7) Inside EVs  (8) Financial Services Commission of Ontario

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