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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to drive an electric vehicle in Nova Scotia?
At $1.00 per litre of gasoline, the average compact car costs $9.54 to drive 100km and the average SUV or minivan costs $12.34 to travel the same distance. When you compare this to a BEV costing $2.04 per 100km, drivers can save $1,500 or more on fuel costs every year.

Is my EV battery usable once the car reaches its end of life? What happens to used electric car batteries?
At the end of your car's life, the battery still has value. It can't power your car anymore, but several of them grouped together can be used for energy storage. This means that when your electric car is ready for trade-in, you may be able to sell the battery.

Since Nova Scotia generates electricity from coal, is driving an electric vehicle actually better for the environment?
Yes. The burning of fossil fuels reduces air quality and produces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. All of the emissions associated with driving your electric car are from the generation of electricity for the battery. Nova Scotia's grid is getting cleaner with over 28% of electricity coming from renewable sources. By switching to an electric car, you can reduce your transportation emissions by as much as 50% today, and even more over time as electricity generation emissions are further reduced.

How much would a charger cost for my home?
These often range from $800 - $1,200. Find a wide selection at www.chargemycar.ca

Will having a home charger increase my power bill?
Charging your EV at home will increase your electricity usage, however there will be significant savings in comparison to what you would have paid at the gas pump. The average EV uses around 4,000kWh per year (based on 20,000 kilometre travel), so if you charge at home 80% of the time at our residential rate, you could expect your bill to increase by around $480. The cost of gasoline in a comparable compact/sub-compact car is often 4 times that amount.

Do I need to upgrade my service to accommodate a charging station in my home?
Some homes will need to upgrade their electrical service to accommodate an EV charger in their home. You should consult with a certified electrician before purchasing an EV to ensure your home can accommodate the charger, or identify a need for a panel upgrade.

What do I need to consider before I purchase an EV?
As with purchasing a regular gasoline vehicle, any vehicle is a major investment. Ensure you do research on which models can best meet your range needs, if your current electric panel can accommodate an EV charger, if you live in an apartment or condo then consult your landlord and/or condo board.

Is charging my vehicle safe?
Yes, charging an electric vehicle is very safe. Each charging station must meet specific electrical safety standards.

How much does it cost to charge at a public charging station?
The cost to charge at a public charging station can vary. Some are free, while some DC fast-chargers will cost between $3 and $5 for a 15 minute charge.

What role has Nova Scotia Power played so far in terms of electric vehicles?
Nova Scotia Power has served as one the major enablers in Atlantic Canada for electric adoption. NSP has engaged key stakeholders through the creation of the Nova Scotia chapter of Electric Mobility Canada, which is dedicated to the promotion of electric mobility as a solution to Canada's emerging energy and environmental issues, as well as through hosting awareness events (Ride n Drive and Electric Avenue), which have attracted over 500 people each year to test drive electric vehicles.

Additionally, Nova Scotia Power has facilitated several EV initiatives in the province, including the installation of Atlantic Canada's second DC fast Charger at Barrington Street Superstore in Downtown Halifax and through contributing $10,000 to an electric bus study with Halifax Transit to assess the opportunity of electrified public transit in the province. Nova Scotia Power currently operates three electric vehicles in their fleet, with plans to acquire more.

More recently, Nova Scotia Power has partnered with Natural Resources Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia to install a network of Level 3 DC fast-charging stations and level 2 charging stations across the province. This will make Nova Scotia one of the few provinces to have a fully interconnected province of DC fast-charging stations.

How did you pick the locations of your EV fast-charging network?
Our location partners were chosen based on a number of criteria outlined by our partners at Natural Resources Canada, including proximity to a 100-series highway and located approximately 65 kilometres apart. We issued an RFP last fall that businesses across NS responded to.

What if someone is already plugged in to these fast-chargers when I arrive?
The FLO mobile app will let an EV driver know if the station is in use. The level 2 charging station is there as a back-up if the level 3 is being used, in addition to being a solution for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

How quickly do you expect the EV market in Nova Scotia to grow?
We expect EVs to be 2% of new vehicle sales in 2021, 15% of new vehicle sales in 2025 and 10% of total vehicle stock in 2030 and 25% of total vehicle stock in 2040.

How will smart meters work with electric vehicles?
Smart meters allow us to provide new rate options to customers. We’re still working on the details of the rate structures, but it’s realistic to imagine a future where EV drivers can charge up overnight for a lower cost.

Why is Nova Scotia Power involved with electric vehicles?
It is not a matter of if electric vehicles are coming but a matter of when. Electric vehicles use a significant amount of electricity when charging, so Nova Scotia Power needs to actively be involved in the deployment of charging stations to ensure adequate grid infrastructure exists and also that charging stations are being installed properly and safely for our contractors and our customers.

We've worked with Dalhousie University's Dr. Larry Hughes to examine the electric vehicle landscape in Nova Scotia. Read the full report here: Electric Vehicles in Nova Scotia: An examination of availability, affordability, and acceptability issues.