Rethinking Lifestyle

Electric Car FAQs

  • Kyle Penner, Guest Author
  • Associate Pastor at Grace Mennonite Church
Electric Car

We’ve owned an electric car for two and a half years, and here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

How does the battery do in winter?

To be safe, on the coldest winter days we assume to lose half the range. So for our car, that means keeping our round trips to about 200km (which means Winnipeg and back is no problem). Also, there are electric car chargers almost everywhere now, with more being built all the time, so this will become less an issue as time goes on

How does it heat in winter?

Our car has a resistive heating system, so it heats up almost instantly (and much faster than a gas powered gar). Plus, given that there are no noxious fumes produced, we can program it to heat up in our garage before we leave.

How much does it cost to drive it?

Our car has driven 55,000km and used 9500 kwh. The price of electricity is $0.09 kwh. 9500 kwh x $0.09/kwh = $855. $855/55,000 km = $0.016/km. So driving 150 km round to Winnipeg and back costs us $2.40.

Where do you charge it?

We installed a home charger in our garage, so it charges whenever we’re at home.

Do you have range anxiety?

Before we go anywhere, we type the destination into the car computer and it tells us how much power we’ll use for a one way or return trip, and where the charging stations are if we need them. So no, we never have range anxiety.

How many years does the battery last?

As we’ve owned our car for 2.5 years, we can’t answer that yet. But so far, we haven’t noticed any difference from the day we got it. When deciding to buy the electric car, we knew that the average car is owned for about 7 years. Since the battery tracking to be just fine by then, we aren’t too worried about it.

How does it do on road trips?

I took the car to Regina to watch the Blue Bombers beat the Roughriders for the Labour Day Classic. Stopping for charging added about an hour each way (we used the extra time to get food and visit the restroom), and even paying for charging at superchargers, I saved about $150 in gas total.

If we all get electric cars, will our grid be able to handle the extra electricity needed?

This is above my pay grade, but I do know that Manitoba has a lot of affordable power available. Related…

I see you put solar panels on your roof. Does that power charge your car?

It does! And more! One year of solar panels on our south facing roof produced 7000 kwh of power, while our car uses about 4000kwh/year. So, we’re basically driving on sunshine. Check out the federal Green Homes Grant and Efficiency Manitoba’s Solar program to see how many thousands of dollars of grant money are available for solar power.

How does it drive?

Our electric car is the smoothest, fastest, and quietest car that I have driven.

Would you recommend one?

If we got into an accident and our car was written off, I’d go buy another one the very next day.