With the price of gas at an all time high in Ottawa, many people are turning to electric cars for their daily commute.

But is it actually cheaper to drive an electric car over gas?

Every year, more and more electric vehicles are making their way on to roads.

Markus Beyritz, product specialist at Myers Volkswagen in Kanata has the brand new, all electric Volkswagen ID.4, but not for long; they are spoken for just as fast as they show up.

“It’s fast, it’s quick. And it’s just fun to drive,” says Beyritz. “If you’ve never driven an electric vehicle, it’s a completely new experience and I find you’re completely blown away.”

Beyritz says people shouldn’t shy away from new technology. It was embraced before and it’s happening again.

“Our grandparents experienced the revolution and the development of gas-powered engines, and it was completely new to them, gave them some freedom of course,” says Beyritz. “And now I think it’s great, it’s amazing, we have the opportunity to experience the transition to electric vehicles.”

Just in the last week, it is costing some people in Ottawa anywhere from $100 to $150 on average to fill up their car; leading to electric vehicles (EVs) gaining in popularity.

“If you do the math, and you do the actual long-term cost of driving the vehicle, especially if you drive lots of kilometres, it is today already cheaper to drive an EV,” says Raymond Leury, Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa President.

So let's do a little math with CAA’s Driving Cost Calculator.

With gas prices at $1.50 in Ottawa right now, the average crossover costs just over $2,500 a year to drive 20,000 kilometres. Compare that to the all-electric Chevy Bolt at just $430 a year to drive.

It adds up to almost $11,000 of savings over the course of five years.

Gas vs. Electric graphic

But how does that translate to your monthly hydro bill?

Leury drives a Tesla Model Y, and he drives it a lot.

“I drive about 30,000 kilometres a year, and more than 95 per cent of the time I charge at home. And the cost on my bill is somewhere between $30 and $50 per month.”

That’s a big difference when most people are paying over $100 a week on gas.

There are also hundreds of charging stations across the city; a map from Plugshare.com shows more than 160 in the Ottawa area.


“With an electric vehicle you can install your own 'gas station' at home,” says Beyritz.

Home charging not only saves money, but EV drivers love the convenience of waking up every morning with a “full tank.” In the winter, you can warm up your car in the garage while still keeping the garage door closed because there are no fumes or exhaust.

If you’re worried about range anxiety, Leury says the average daily commute is only 30 kilometers.

“With a charger at 30 amp, the daily commute would take less than an hour to charge your car with a level two charger,” says Leury.

Back at Myers Volkswagen, with dozens of calls every day, the new ID.4 is now one of the most requested vehicles at the dealership.

“Right now, at least 70 to 80 per cent is on the ID.4,” says Beyritz. “So the transition is there. The demand is there. It’s started.”

Ontario dropped its EV rebate in 2018, but if you’re looking to buy an electric car you can still get a federal rebate of up to $5,000, based on which model EV you get.