Electric Vehicles

Get to Know Electric Vehicles


Electric vehicles (EV) help reduce green house gas emissions. By switching to an EV, you are reducing your carbon footprint from driving by 50%.

The future of transportation is electric. Globally, governments, utilities and automakers are looking at electric vehicles as the future for decarbonizing the economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Over 1,900 EVs are registered in Nova Scotia as of January 1, 2023.
  • There are over 200 public charging stations across Nova Scotia as of January 2023.

You can visit evassist.ca to find charging stations and to learn more about EV basics, rebates, charging and which EV may be best for you.

benefits


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SAVE MONEY

An EV can save you up to $2,000 a year as they use much less energy to operate, and the cost of electricity is lower than the cost of gas.
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RELIABLE AND EASY TO DRIVE

Many new models have a range of over 300 km, with some lasting over 500 km before needing to be charged. And with 200 public charging stations across Nova Scotia, you’re never without an outlet on the road.
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EASY TO MAINTAIN

An EV motor has significantly fewer parts than a gas motor, with no coolants, oils, mufflers or exhaust systems to worry about. You’ll save money on maintenance compared to a gas-powered vehicle.
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ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

Driving electric can reduce your carbon footprint. An EV in Nova Scotia emits as much as 50% less CO2 than a gas car, which will only improve overtime as we work to reach 80% renewable energy by 2030.

 

CHARGING STATIONS


While you can always simply plug your EV into any grounded exterior outlet, there are other easy ways to quickly charge your EV in Nova Scotia. See a map of all EV chargers in Nova Scotia at evassist.ca.

We’ve also partnered with Natural Resources Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia to install a network of Level 3 DC-fast charging stations and Level 2 charging stations across Nova Scotia.

Installing an EV charger at home?

Important steps to consider before installing an EV charger:

  1. As the EV owner, you should do your due diligence in understanding the type of charger required for your vehicle. You can visit Natural Resources Canada or speak with your local dealership about the specs for chargers that go with your vehicle.
  2. If you live in a multi-unit residential building or town house, you need to get a wiring method approval from the condo board / landlord / association.
  3. Once approved, or if you are living in a single-family dwelling, ask your contractor for the following credentials to ensure that the job is being done in a safe and reliable manner that meets code:
    1. Proof of licensing – red-seal electrical
    2. Proof of insurance
    3. Workers Comp letter of good standing
    4. Safety certification

    It is critical that electric vehicle chargers are installed properly and to the highest standards of safety and quality. That’s why we’re proud to partner with contractors who have completed the Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program. This program is designed to provide contractors with the most comprehensive classroom and hands-on training available in the market today. Find a contractor near you that has completed this training.

  4. Ensure that the electrician is able to complete an electrical load calculation.
    1. This helps your electrician understand if the panel can handle the increased load.
    2. If you are out of space in your electrical panel, ask you contractor about the possibility of adding an “electric vehicle energy management system.” This can potentially allow you to install an EV charger without a panel upgrade.
  5. Ask for a site visit by an electrician, to get a better understanding of how they’re going to install the charger—and make sure it’s a free estimation.
  6. Make sure you understand the warranty of the charger, by checking for certifications on the charger itself. You can find more information at Electric vehicle chargers: the basics (canada.ca).
  7. We also recommend getting more than one quote from a certified electrician.

For additional information, check out the Energy Star chargers guidlines.

 

FAQS:


Electric Vehicles


What is Nova Scotia Power’s role in electric vehicles?

Electric vehicles are part of the federally mandated Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) sales targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That's why, we work with a variety of partners and customer groups to identify the barriers and provide solutions for electric vehicle adoption in our province.

We help support a variety of events across Nova Scotia to build awareness and growth of electric vehicle adoption. We also provide the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, while making and delivering energy to support your vehicle needs.

How quickly do you expect the EV market in Nova Scotia to grow?

The Government of Canada is aiming for 100% of new light-duty sales to be zero-emission by 2035, including at least 20% by 2026, and at least 60% by 2030.

Since Nova Scotia generates some of its electricity from coal, is driving an electric vehicle better for the environment?

Yes! By switching to an electric vehicle, you can reduce your carbon emissions from driving by as much as 50%, and by even more over time as we continue greening our grid. We’ve been transitioning to renewable energy—with 40% of electricity in 2023 coming from renewable sources—and we’re working on reaching 80% renewable by 2030.

As more people switch to electric vehicles, can the grid handle the increase in load?

Yes, it can! As more Nova Scotians choose to go electric, we’re modernizing our grid and planning for the future. Through the Smart Grid Nova Scotia program, we’re testing how new technology can help us manage peak demand. You can learn more at nspower.ca/innovation.

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 100 km and the average SUV or minivan costs $12.34 to travel the same distance. When you compare this to a battery electric vehicle costing $2.04 per 100 km, 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 may still have value. There is technology in development that may allow you to sell your battery.

You can learn more about how EV batteries can help us shape our energy future, and bring benefits for all Nova Scotians, in our chat with Dalhousie University Professor Jeff Dahn.

Charging


How much does it cost to charge at a public charging station?

The cost to charge at a public charging station can vary based on vehicle type.

Our Nova Scotia Power fast-chargers currently cost $15 per hour, for up to 50kW, and our Level-2 chargers are $1.50 per hour.

What if someone is already plugged into 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, as well as a solution for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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 being located approximately 65 kilometers apart.

How much would installing a charger cost for my home?

Home chargers can range from $400 to $1,200. For more information on home charger costs, contact a certified electrician.

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 for gas or diesel.

Example: The average BEV (battery electric vehicle) uses around 4,000 kWh per year (based on 20,000 kilometers of 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 small car is often four 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 to identify whether you need a panel upgrade.

Is charging my vehicle safe?

Yes, charging an electric vehicle is very safe in all weather conditions, as each charging station must meet specific electrical safety standards.

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DID YOU KNOW?

EV batteries have steadily increased in longevity, to the point where they will far outlive the battery of an average car, with only moderate degradation. You can learn more about EV batteries in our chat with Dalhousie University Professor Jeff Dahn.

We're modernizing our grid

As more communities, homeowners and drivers choose to go electric, we’re preparing for the future. We’re modernizing our grid and exploring new and emerging technologies to manage increased demand for electricity, while we grow our use of renewable energy.

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