Imagine waking up one day and looking up at those gas station signs, they all say 19.5 cents a litre … and it’s not a dream!

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver have recently hit new highs at $1.55 per litre.  The equivalent “per litre” rate for electric cars using residential electricity in BC is under $0.20 per litre. That means driving today with 1977 gas prices!

Gas sign for 19.5 cents per litreDrivers are rediscovering the joy of motoring with electric cars. With absolutely breathtaking acceleration without shudder or smoke, the performance of electrics is astonishing to first-time drivers.  And when they realize the cost to drive is a mere penny or two per kilometer, all of a sudden it hits you.  Why have we been paying so much for so long, and especially now that gas prices have spiked?

The mantra is that electric cars are expensive, but in reality their energy efficiency, and the fact that they refuel from electricity, makes them ten times cheaper to operate in British Columbia than comparable gasoline cars.  And that’s just the fuel cost.  With no engine, there is virtually no maintenance.  And with motors providing most of the braking power through regeneration there is virtually no brake wear.  “Polishing my discs, not punishing them” says John Stonier, spokesperson for the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association of the two electric cars he drives.

“When you take into account operating costs, and the fact that these cars will last many times longer than conventional cars, the payback of any difference between a similar-performing car is made back in about three years or so,” says Stonier, a CPA, CA and electric vehicle entrepreneur.  “I challenged a Maserati in my Nissan LEAF a few months back, and off the line he couldn’t keep up to me — and he has four times the horsepower of my LEAF” Stonier continued.  “Afterward, I realized I was in ECO mode, but still, electric torque is instant and efficient.  Electric drives do the same work as gasoline engines with one quarter the energy.”