The sun is brilliant, the weather is mild and the road beckons. So, what’s keeping you in the city? If you own an electric vehicle, the answer is two-fold: driving range and charging stations.
According to William Skorupinski, CAA North & East Ontario’s Vice President of Automotive and Mobility Services, several factors impact how far you can go. “Depending on the car, the range is 200 to 600 kilometres on one charge. The colder it gets or the faster you drive, the more diminished the range. Consistent driving speed also plays a role,” he says.
Out of 8.7 million vehicles in Ontario, just 75,000 are electric vehicles. Even so, the province predicts that by 2030, one in three cars will be electric. To meet demand, the Ontario government has plans for 69 fast chargers at all 23 ONroute stations along major highways. In total, the province has 1700 public charging stations with 5000 ports. The City of Ottawa has 24 on-street charging stations.
If your driving range is 200-kilometres, you probably use your EV for city driving, but it is possible to take a road trip past Level 3, fast charging stations. Make sure you’re fully charged before you set out, plan your route to hit fast chargers and keep your CAA Membership handy if anything goes awry, William says, adding that in Northern Ontario, Level 3 chargers can be located within 300-kilometres of each other, making travelling with an EV very feasible.
Slow, medium, fast
The speed at which electric vehicles recharge depends on the battery. There are three categories:
Level 1 charging: A standard cord set in a wall socket. This is the slowest way to charge (110 Volts/15 Amps), around 8-kilometre range per hour of charging.
Level 2 charging: Chargers are installed in homes and commercial facilities by licensed electricians. The charge is a little faster (240 Volts/30 Amps), with an approximately 35-kilometre range per hour of charging.
Level 3 charging/direct current (DC): Level 3 charges from empty to 80% in 30-45 minutes, with approximately a 250-kilometre range per hour of charging.