Electric Vehicles

Driving and charging

Electric vehicle driving range

Everyday driving

On average, Canadians drive about 40 kms a day. Depending on the vehicle, and the road and driving conditions, you can drive up to 500 km on a single charge in an electric vehicle. Over 70 percent of charging happens at home, but if you have to charge on the go, the EV charging network is extensive and growing all the time.

Trips and longer drives

Today, it's possible to drive in an electric vehicle coast to coast across Canada. Helpful apps and websites make it easy to find charging stations near you.

Planning ahead when purchasing

The charging network in Canada has room to grow, so if you plan to drive very long distances, or don't have access to at-home charging, your best choice is an extended-range EV, plug-in-hybrid or hybrid. You could also opt for a fully electric vehicle and rent a gas-powered model for long trips, vacations, or transporting bulky items.

Extreme weather conditions

Extreme weather drains battery power faster. Real life testing in Canada by CAA-Québec has shown that range can decrease as much as 40% when temperatures drop below -15°C.

Additional testing in Norway found that, on average, electric vehicles lost 18.5% of their official driving range in cold conditions. But, there are ways to reduce these efficiency losses. Some models have apps that can be used to pre-heat the cabin while the car is plugged in, which draws power from the grid instead of draining the battery.

Public charging stations

There are over 5,000 electric vehicle charging stations in Canada.

  • Charge only when necessary

    Unless you need a charge to reach your destination, please leave the spot free for another EV driver who needs the charge to complete their trip.

  • Don't unplug someone else's vehicle

    Never unplug another EV unless you've received permission from the owner.

  • Check-in

    As you begin charging, please do “Check in” on the charging network's mobile app (if available) to let others know that the station is in use.

  • Be safe

    Route the cord from the station to your car such that it lays flat on the ground and is not a trip-hazard. Before you leave, wind the cord neatly on its holder.

Across Canada, the public charging infrastructure includes more than 5,000 stations. More are being added every year. Follow these links to find a station near you.

At present, drivers need to use several membership accounts to have full access to the various charging station networks in Canada. This means that drivers need multiple membership accounts to access some public charging stations.

EV charging network companies across the globe have recognized this as a problem and are coming together to improve the driver experience and make it more seamless to drive electric.

Much like using your bank card at ATMs across the globe, driver roaming will allow you to use one network membership to find, start, and pay for a charge at any partnering station.

Roaming is available in Canada through some companies like ChargePoint, Electric Circuit and Flo EV.

Charging at Home

The majority of charging will be done from the convenience of your home – according to CAA’s survey of more than 16,000 EV owners, more than 70% of charging is done from home.

When to charge

In most provinces, the best time to charge your EV is overnight when electricity is less expensive. Some provinces have “peak pricing” making charging during the day more expensive. But for the average EV owner, charging at night is the most convenient time to charge anyway.


All EVs come with a portable cord-set that lets you charge using a standard household outlet. This is the slowest speed of charging, but doesn’t require installing any new equipment in your home.

There are two main types of EV chargers, alternating current (AC) chargers and direct current (DC) chargers, also known as fast chargers.

Level 1 charger

This type of charger is included in the purchase of your EV and provides up to 8 kilometers of range per hour of charging time, making it the slowest of these three options. They require only a standard 120 V wall outlet. Since they are so accessible, Level 1 chargers are typically used at home.

Level 2 charger

This is a faster charger that provides up to 97 kilometers of range per hour of charging time depending on the type of vehicle. This charger is ideal for a faster and more flexible home charging solution. These chargers require a 208 or 240 V wall outlet, and require work from an electrician. Some provinces offer incentives and rebates when purchasing and installing in-home charging systems.

Level 3 charger

DC chargers provide the fastest charging time, but are not often installed or found at homes. They’re typically found in public places and businesses and can charge an EV in as little as 20 to 30 minutes.