FAQ’s re Electric Cars

Followed by Links to references in EV School Outreach presentation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from audiences at EV presentations                  April 2024

Prepared by David Kuhnke, Chapter Lead, EV Society-Northumberland Chapter

Is the charging infrastructure currently in good shape, and will it keep up with the increasing demand?

2024 EV charging networks report: from Electric Autonomy 2023 was an eventful year for public EV charging, in Canada .  Public charger installations broke the 27,000-charger mark, up 33 per cent in 12 months.  More on their way.

Considering that the majority of EV owners do 90%+ of their charging at home, at the lowest cost over-night hydro rates, translates to ~2.7 million ‘chargers’ in very convenient locations (their homes).  The Ontario away-from-home charging infrastructure is quite good & growing in Southern Ontario.  There are not enough chargers in rural & northern Ontario yet, although the Ivy EV charging network https://ivycharge.com/about/ covers a lot of Ontario (as far away as Fort Francis & Kenora, NW of Thunder Bay (see map below https://ivycharge.com/public-charging/#map ).  Ontario’s EV ChargeON program is providing $91million to expand EVCS beyond the GTA and in smaller (<170,000 pop.) communities.  Every month there are articles about new EV charging.  EG., Parkland Fuels “On the Run” is expanding its EV charging network into eastern Canada https://www.parkland.ca/retail/electric-charging.  They installed 2x250kW chargers at the Ultimar gas station on Hwy 28, just north of Pt. Hope.

There are issues with charger station reliability, especially at non-Tesla locations.  They are being addressed.  Starting in 2025, a number of car manufacturers are installing Tesla NACS J3400 charging ports on new cars.  This spring (2024), Ford is providing all current EV owners (Mustang Mach e, F150 Lightning and eTransit vans) with adapters for use on Tesla’s Supercharger network.

Of equal concern is if the electrical supply & grid can accommodate the “electrification of everything”, not just EVs.  OPG is building more generation.  Hydro One is building more transmission capacity.  Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) (eg. Lakefront Utilities in Cobourg have installed a new transformer, upgrading old 4kV distribution lines to 27.6kV and building more lines for future growth (+20,000 pop. in 10-20yrs).  Ontario’s IESO annual report includes plans for generation and transmission.

We are hearing about people being stranded on the road when out of power.  Is towing the only solution?  Is there or will there be portable fast charge options?

EV dash-screens make it very easy to know what the remaining range is, and where charging stations are on the route ahead, so ‘running out of power’ is not common.  If someone does need it, CAA now provides roadside assistance for EV owners.  https://ama.ab.ca/electric-vehicles/owning/roadside-assistance

I also ask the question “when was the last time you ran out of gas?”  You usually check your gas gauge, or gas up before heading out on a longer trip.  You do the same for EVs.  Driving EVs for longer trips takes some planning.  Charge up the night before at home (living in MURBs creates other problems).  There are apps available on phones or in the car to plan your trip, where to charge, how long it takes, etc.

Charging EVs for residents in MURBs (condos & apartments) is not as straightforward as in single family dwellings.  But there are several organizations and companies in that business (eg. SWTCH, EnerSavings, Signature Electric, Plug’n Drive).  The solutions are “power management systems”.

Current operating costs, and where do you think they will be in 3, 5 and 10 years? 

Currently, the fuelling costs for electricity is about 1/10th that of gas when charging at home (90% users do) taking advantage of low overnight rates (also, ultra-low rate 2.5cents/kWh) is available.  Last year I drove 12,000km and fuel (electricity) cost was $195.  Maintenance was $175 for 2 winter/summer tire switches, a rear window blade and cabin air filter (@32,000km). 

A recent Gartner report predicts that the initial price of EVs and ICEs will cost the same by 2027.  It is hard to predict where the cost of electricity and gas will be in 3, 5 & 10 yrs.  More electrical generation is planned to cover the demand for the “electrification of everything”.  With more cars using electricity instead of gas, the cost of gas might even come down based on demand & supply.

https://www.autobodynews.com/news/ev-prices-to-undercut-ice-vehicles-by-2027-gartner-finds or 2029 https://insideevs.com/news/709746/lower-battery-prices-to-make-ev-costs-equal-gas-cars/ depending on what you read.

What about the extra weight of these vehicles with the battery.  Is that not an added safety hazard during a collision?

My electric Mustang weighs about 1000 lbs more than the gas (ICE) versions; but lighter than a full-size SUV (Ford Explorer) or pickup truck (F150).

We’re told that if we rust proof our new Hyundai the warranty will be voided.  Comments?

Here are replies from local Ford & Hyundai dealers.

Ford – Ford does not recommend rust proofing or under coating of any kind. It does not automatically void your warranty but if any component fails it’s on the customer

Hyundai – You are able to rust proof your EV but not undercoating.

Are there growing concerns about cars catching fire during charging?  Should we avoid charging in a garage?

With the exception of some earlier Chevy Bolt problems with battery fires (which has been resolved for years), I am not aware of any limitations on charging in garages.

Here’s an excerpt from an article by Edmunds https://www.edmunds.com/electric-car/articles/electric-car-fires.html .  The (Swedish) MSB’s 2023 report found that electric car fires, out of about 611,000 electric vehicles, have averaged about 20 per year (0.0033%)  in the last three years. On the other hand, cars powered by fuel — totaling about 4.4 million — had about 3,400 fires (0.08%) during that same time. The agency concedes that some of the fires in internal combustion engine vehicles were due to arson, but the figures still come out in favor of EVs.

Similarly, Australia’s EV FireSafe, a group funded by the country’s department of defense, studied global EV battery fires from 2010 to 2020. The report found that the risk of an electric car battery catching fire was a thousandth of one percent (0.0012%). FireSafe noted that it was difficult to find similar data for internal combustion engine vehicles globally, but based on the reports the group looked at, it estimated fire in gas cars risk at a tenth of a percent (0.1%).

From both reports, gas cars had roughly 100 times more fires than electric cars.

EV Battery in Hot Temperature: 5 Things to Knowhttps://www.evchargepedia.com/ev-battery-in-hot-temperature-faq/

Folks at AutoinsuranceEZ did an analysis and found…well…here’s their meme. https://cleantechnica.com/2024/04/09/car-fires-by-vehicle-type-meme/

Turns out, gas cars cause 3837 times more fires than EVs.

What are your thoughts on trade in value?

During COVID and the “chip shortage” that affected all auto (& other) manufacturing, used EVs were costing more than new ones.  With sales steadily increasing, that will likely revert to being more “normal”.  In our newsletter, I now include a section of links to sources of used EV sales.

Used EV sources – Don’t want to wait for a new EV?  Check out these sources for used EV.

EV Nethttps://evnet.ca/ Etiobicoke  also rents EVs https://evnet.ca/rent/

All EVs –  https://steeleauto.com/allev filter on elec “fuel” NS, delivers to Ontario

Shift Motors, Oakville – https://www.shiftmotors.com/vehicles/?view=grid

Auto Trader with EV filterhttps://www.autotrader.ca/cars/on/?rcp=15&rcs=0&srt=4&prx=-2&prv=Ontario&loc=K9A%205K5&fuel=Electric%2CGas%2FElectric%20Hybrid&hprc=True&wcp=True&sts=New-Used&eng=Electric%20Motor&inMarket=advancedSearch

Are replacement batteries really in the 10k to 20k range?

Yes, about the same as replacing your engine and transmission in an ICE vehicle, according to my service manager at Fraser Ford.  The batteries are generally warranted to last 8 yrs or 160,000km.  We think, with more EV experience, that they may last as long or longer than the car.  When they get down to 80% charge they can be repurposed as backup power sources or recycled to retrieve the materials to make new batteries by Li-Cycle in Kingston and other battery recycling companies.

Some basics on how the cars work and their performance. 

  • Compare operation of BEV, PHEV, HFCV, ZEV vs ICE (gas) covered in presentation
  • Comparison of  efficiency of EV (90%) vs ICE vehicles (30%) covered in presentation
  • Performance (slide showing 0-100kmph) generally faster than gas cars, except in top speed >200kmph

What are the job opportunities in the field of EVs? 

  • Newsletter now includes section on job opportunities

Looking for a job in the fields of sustainability and electric vehicles?  Electric Autonomy together with Electric Mobility Canada now has postings each week for job (currently over 4000).  https://jobs.electricautonomy.ca/?utm_campaign=EA%20Newsletters&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=292991633&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8sIIrs0uR-1vUdspriYFSuPuRyKc7JSdjc6u4d5DWMjD3hsLjP_gFfR-T0KtFvfXru0fe2GJW8g4DdnNI8v5oxd7F8Jg&utm_content=292991633&utm_source=hs_email

  • Reference to EV training video hosted by EV Society of Canada last year
  • Both GM and Ford (& other OEMs?) offer in-company training of EVs

What are the Pros and Cons for EVs?


  • Cost less to operate (cost of electricity @ off-peak rates vs gas)
  • Less expensive to maintain; brakes last much longer due to regenerative braking
  • Help the environment by not emitting GHG by not burning fossil fuels, which produce CO2 that contributes to climate change
  • Some sources of electrical generation may not contribute GHG (renewable wind & solar, hydroelectric and nuclear)
  • Adding solar panels, combined with storage batteries, to home may reduce cost of fuelling to zero
  • Fun to drive; quiet, very good acceleration and handling
  • Improves local air quality as well as the environment at large; even reducees serious asthma cases in congested areas like cities
  • EV tax credits; depending on where you live and initial cost of vehicle
  • HOV lane accessibility, especially in GTA


  • Higher initial cost, more than offset by lower total cost of ownership due to lower fuel & mtce. costs
  • Range anxiety – not much, with minimal planning & more & more EVs have 400+ km range
  • Longer charging time if charge during trip – 20-30 min. vs 5-10 min. to pump gas
  • Battery degradation – practices that increase battery longevity include trying to maintain SOC between 40 & 80%, minimize frequent hard acceleration, minimize DC fast charging. Most batteries have 8yr, 160,000km warrantees.  In practice we see batteries lasting over 200,000km
  • Battery replacement – $12,000-$20,000; similar to replacing engine & transmission in gas car
  • Some fossil fuels are still burned to generate electricity, depending where you live, eg. AB, SK & NS.  Overall Canada’s electrical system is 85% emission free.
  • Heavier than similar sized ICE vehicles.  Possible future road tax based on weight? vs $150-200 flat tax as in SK & AB (conservative governments, fossil fuel based provinces).


  • Fewer choices in vehicles, but improving (190 now in Canada, 75 below avg. $65000 cost new cars)
  • Major car manufacturers ramping up EV production; plan to be 100% electric by 2035
  • Long distance trips (> 400-500km) take some planning to use public chargers.  Use charging network apps available on cell phones and in-car infotainment systems.  More hotels and destinations have chargers.  (L2 for overnight charging)

Car & Driver Sept 29, 2022 https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a41001087/pros-and-cons-electric-cars/  Electric cars are efficient, quiet, and torque-rich. They can also be expensive, tend to be heavy, and are plagued by a limited public charging infrastructure—something we expect will get better in the coming years. There are a number of benefits to choosing some level of electrification in your next vehicle, but some tradeoffs do apply.

Edmunds Aug 4, 2023 https://www.edmunds.com/electric-car/articles/pros-cons-electric-cars.html

The main “pros” of electric vehicles are that they cost less to refuel, accelerate instantly and promote better air quality, while the main “cons” are range anxiety, limited recharging infrastructure and a lack of affordable models

Don’t think of an electric car as a free card to get-out-of-climate-change;

but a step in the right direction.

Kick the pump; embrace the plug

Links to references in EV School Outreach presentation


This presentation is based on presentations previously developed by Steve Lapp, retired Engineering Professor, from St. Lawrence College.  They form the basis for on-going School EV Outreach program and other organizations.

EV Society of Canada – Northumberland  www.evsociety.ca/northumberland

Steve Lapp’s Decarbonization website  www.carbontakedown.com

800,000 years of CO2 & CH4  https://www.bas.ac.uk/data/our-data/publication/ice-cores-and-climate-change

How GHG absorb heat being radiated from the earth back to space and results in heating up the atmosphere due to the “trapped” heat.  So what happens to those photons? “Greenhouse gas molecules will absorb that light, causing the bonds between atoms to vibrate,” says Jesse Kroll, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering at MIT. “This traps the energy, which would otherwise go back into space, and so has the effect of heating up the atmosphere.”  With other greenhouse gases, the molecular bonds are different, but in all cases, they absorb photons, stopping them from leaving the atmosphere.  Eventually, our CO2 molecule will release these photons. Sometimes, the photons continue out into space. But other times, they rebound back into the Earth’s atmosphere, where their heat remains trapped.

How Do Greenhouse Gases Work?  https://www.kqed.org/quest/73087/how-do-greenhouse-gases-work.  Reference Global Warming Potential (GWP).  https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases

Carbon dioxide (CO2) – burning fossil fuels, solid waste, cement production. Sequestered by plants (trees)

Methane (CH4) – production & transport of coal, natural gas & oil.  Livestock, agricultural practices, decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills

Nitrous oxide – emitted during agricultural, land use and industrial activities; combustion of fossil fuels Hydrofluorocarbons – replaced chlorofluorocarbons as refrigerants due to ozone

Perfluorcarbons – aluminum, magnesium & semiconductor production.  Sulfur hexafluoride – HV switchgear insulation; 24,000 times higher warming potential than CO2; lasts 800-3200yr

Methane pollution from abandoned oil wellshttps://davidsuzuki.org/project/methane-pollution/  Every day, Canada’s oil and gas industry leaks and intentionally vents methane into the atmosphere. It traps 84 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. Scientists estimate that methane is responsible for 25 per cent of changes to Earth’s climate. 

Gas vs Electric car fires (2023) AutoinsuranceEZ  https://www.autoinsuranceez.com/gas-vs-electric-car-fires/  Hybrid vehicles actually come in number one with the most fires per 100K sales. Gas vehicles are second, and electric vehicles place third, with only 25 fires per 100K electric vehicle sales.  According to findings pointed out by AutoInsuranceEZ, vehicles that operate using  gasoline are tenfold more likely to catch fire compared to EVs.

Plans for lithium mining in Canada  Frontier says the proposed facility, located in Ontario’s Township of Nairn and Hyman, west of Sudbury, will showcase its lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate processing capabilities.  https://electricautonomy.ca/2023/05/31/exclusive-frontier-lithium-ontario-plant

Plans for battery production in Canada.  Umicore is ready to begin construction on its $2.1-billion cathode active materials factory in Loyalist, Ont., after the company finalized its deal with the federal government and the province of Ontario. https://electricautonomy.ca/2023/10/16/umicore-finalizes-cathode-factory-ontario/

 Li-Cycle – Kingston, Ont. Video of Ajay Kochhar, Pres.  https://youtu.be/4OaryfviR6w?feature=shared

What really happens to used electric vehicle batteries? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2xrarUWVRQ

The Three Fires Group, an Indigenous-owned development group based on Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, near Sarnia, Ont., is taking another step towards becoming a significant player in Ontario’s critical minerals and EV battery sector.  https://electricautonomy.ca/2023/07/05/electra-three-fires-group-investment/

Electric School Buses – Lion Electric school bus in Vanderhoof (Vernon), BC.  3 min. video

Electric school buses could bring millions of dollars in benefits to Ontario.  Each year in Canada, diesel emissions cause over 2.2 million acute respiratory symptom days for children.  “ reducing pollution from fine particulates and NOx (nitrogen oxide) by an equivalent number of tonnes to that emitted by all school buses in Ontario would provide over $7.2 million in health benefits every year”.https://electricautonomy.ca/2023/11/03/electric-school-bus-ontario-pollution-probe/

Electric school buses could bring millions of dollars in benefits to Ontario, but the province needs to increase funding and infrastructure.    Ontario currently has approx. 20,833 school buses.  Cover 1.8 million kilometers.  Carry over 833,000 students every school day.  Emit 307,705 tonnes of GHG emissions each year.  93% of the fleet operates on diesel and 5% on gasoline

PEI using 47 ebuses as stand-by generators for future power outages (Hurricane Fiona 2022) https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-and-lifelong-learning/electric-school-buses

1996-1999 – GM produced 100 EV prototypes (EV1) and gave them to employees and public to try out.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1 .  In 2002, GM demanded (by agreement) they be returned.  Keeping or buying them was NOT an option!  GM then sent them all to be shredded!  Reference video – https://youtu.be/b1zlgxqFaSA   Movie “Who Killed the Electric Car?” https://watchdocumentaries.com/who-killed-the-electric-car/

Over 100 EVs available in Canada now (Fall 2023; update quarterly) – The CAA EV Buyer’s Guide includes all vehicles currently for sale in Canada. That is more than 100 vehicles to explore and discover. https://www.caa.ca/sustainability/electric-vehicles/electric-vehicles-available-in-canada/https://evbuyersguide.caa.ca/available-in-canada   Plug’n Drive – Vaughan https://ev.plugndrive.ca/vehicles

Updated EV cost versus range chart on Steve Lapp’s decarbonization website for almost all the models of EVs in Canada.  Here’s the link.  https://www.carbontakedown.com/ev-ranges-price-charging-rate

Zero-emission vehicles hit 13.3 per cent market share in Canada in Q3 – 2023. ZEV registrations up 13.3%, while total vehicle (ICE & ZEV) reduced by 5.7% according to S&P Global.  At the same time, total registrations of all light-duty vehicles in Canada in Q3 2023 declined by 5.7 per cent, according to S&P Global. https://electricautonomy.ca/2023/11/15/q3-2023-sp-global-zero-emission-registrations/ .

Canada’s public EV charging networks have broken the 27,000-charger mark,  up 33 per cent in 12 months.  More on their way .  2024 EV charging networks report: from Electric Autonomy 2023 was an eventful year for public EV charging in Canada.

Oct 20, 2023 – Ontario government announced $91million for charging; Cobourg is applying for 18 chargers https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1003677/ontario-building-more-electric-vehicle-charging-stations#

Current (last hr) sources of electrical generation in Ontario view here   https://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html

Your Next StepsIn general, learn more about climate change and electric vehicles from reliable sources

  • Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter (forms available on clipboard) or send dkuhnke1@gmail.com a request to be added.  Get news about charging infrastructure, manufacturing, batteries and recycling, monthly webinars and local events.
  • Register for Electric Autonomy weekly newsletter to receive news, opinion and original journalism about the EV industry across Canada.   https://electricautonomy.ca
  • Visit www.EVSociety.ca  and join Northumberland (or local) chapter to receive notices of local EV events
  • For general interests in sustainability,  look into and join Sustainable Cobourg (www.sustainablecobourg.ca)  andother local sustainable organizations such as Blue Dot Northumberland https://www.facebook.com/bluedotnorthumberland/

Arrange to take a ride in or drive an electric vehicle.  If it’s right for you, order one s