Benefits of driving a zero-emission vehicle

More and more Canadians are choosing to drive a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV). The adoption of ZEVs continues to grow, so plug in and join the thousands of Canadians already on the road.

Why choose a ZEV?

Save on fuel and maintenance costs

It can cost 5 to 10 times less to charge a battery-electric vehicle compared to filling up on gas or diesel to drive the same distance, making electric vehicles more affordable over the long run.

According to experts, when federal and provincial purchase incentives (up to $12,000) are combined with the reduced costs of vehicle charging and maintenance, many ZEVs hit a total cost break-even point with comparable gas-powered vehicles within a few years, and some in under a year.

Cost of Canada’s favorite iZEV eligible electric hatchback vs a gas counterpart

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Drive and Save: Cost of Canada’s favorite iZEV eligible electric hatchback vs a gas counterpart*.

(electric) Retail (before purchase incentives): $38,943

(gas) Retail: $29,890

Total ownership cost after 10 years: $82,515

Total ownership cost after 10 years: $48,943

The EV saves you over $33,500 over 10 years

*Clean Energy Canada: a Clean Bill Report. Total ownership cost includes the upfront price of the car, any applicable rebates, and the cost of operation and maintenance, minus its resale value after 10 years.

After 10 years, the overall savings can be significant. One study from Clean Energy Canada compared the total cost of ownership, of a small electric hatchback vehicle costing $39,000, and a comparable gasoline model costing $30,000. The total cost of ownership for the gasoline vehicle was estimated to be over $80,000, versus less than $49,000 for the electric vehicle (EV). These costs include the upfront price of the car, any applicable rebates, and the cost of operation and maintenance, minus the resale value after 10 years.

The total cost of ZEV ownership is lower than ownership of a gas counterpart, due to lower fuelling and maintenance costs. Some ZEVs have fewer moving parts than other vehicles, and may not require oil changes or engine tune-ups, or contain spark plugs or engine air filters that require replacement. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) estimates that the average EV owner would save 40% to 50% in maintenance costs compared to a gas-powered vehicle.

In total, Canadians will save an estimated $36.7 billion in energy costs between now and 2050 as a result of Canada’s new Electric Vehicle Availability Standard.

Did you know?

The share of new ZEV drivers in Canada more than tripled between 2019 and 2023.

More options are now available to all drivers, including pickup trucks, SUVs, sedans, and hatchbacks with two- and four-wheel drive options, and more than 50 ZEV models were available in Canada in 2023. This is an 80% increase from 2019. The auto industry has announced an additional 41 models expected to arrive in Canada in 2024.

Charge conveniently at home and on the road

Depending on the model you choose, a ZEV can travel 300 to 600 km on a fully charged battery. With most Canadians driving less than 45 km per day, a ZEV has plenty of range to get you where you need to go between charges, whether in an average week, or on a road trip!

Today, the majority of ZEV drivers charge their vehicles at home and rarely need a public charger. But when drivers need a charger away from home, Canada’s rapidly growing charging network will be able to meet their needs.

Since 2018, Canada has added 19,000 new public charging ports across the country—more than tripling the total amount of chargers that we had in 2018. Thousands of additional public and workplace chargers are also being installed each year.

Find EV chargers near you using our station locator map.

Learn more about EV charging

ZEV options are growing and are easier to get every year

The Government of Canada’s Electric Vehicle Availability Standard will ensure that Canada can achieve a national target of 100% zero-emission new vehicle sales by 2035. Interim targets of at least 20% of all sales by 2026, and at least 60% by 2030, will channel supply to Canadian markets instead of abroad. This will reduce customer wait times and ensure Canadians have access to the latest affordable and technologically advanced vehicles arriving on the market over the next few years.

More new ZEVs sold every year also means that more used ZEVs will make their way to the market, further increasing affordability.

Learn more about Canada’s investments in ZEVs

Protect the environment and your health

Switching to a ZEV can reduce harmful air pollution, bringing significant beneficial health impacts. According to Health Canada on-road vehicles contribute to smog, lung disease, asthma, and about 1,200 premature deaths a year.

And nearly half of Canadians live close to busy roads, while a similar percentage of long-term care homes and schools are situated nearby, increasing the risk of exposure to air pollution from vehicles.

Even accounting for the upfront greenhouse gas emissions from producing batteries for ZEVs, these vehicles still produce lower emissions over their lifetime than gas vehicles. With advances in technology over time, production is also becoming more efficient.

Creating Canadian jobs while driving the ZEV transition.

The path to net-zero emissions is creating good-paying manufacturing jobs right here in Canada as we build the network of the future. The manufacturing of ZEVs and their components, including batteries, and the acquisition and refining of the critical minerals they need, represent huge opportunities that are already paying dividends for Canadian workers and the Canadian economy.

With historic investments, the Government of Canada is building on Canada’s record of having among the best autoworkers in the world and being a destination of choice for investment in new supply chain manufacturing. Canada’s auto sector is a key sector of our economy: it’s our second largest exporter, it supports 500,000 Canadians jobs, and it contributed more than $14 billion to Canada’s economy in 2022.

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