I recently visited the Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre here in Toronto. It’s operated by Plug’n Drive, a non-profit organization focused on “accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles to maximize their environmental and economic benefits”. That’s right from their website. Their staff are very well informed, friendly, and happy to answer every question I had. The best part is, you can test drive electric vehicles right from their facility and there’s no sales pressure to buy anything because they don’t sell anything. I only had time to drive the Chevy Bolt and the BMW i3, but they have others and a VW e-Golf coming soon.
I highly recommend a trip to their centre and taking the time to drive every car you can. Their Chevy Bolt is the only one in Ontario that’s available for test drives right now. It has a listed range of 380 kms, but when we drove it the vehicle calculated an estimated 490 kms of range based on its past drivers. At a $43,000 list price in Ontario, and $14,000 in rebates available from the Province, it can be a very affordable option. The only problem is that it might be hard to get your hands on one. Very soon though there will be a flood of EVs on the market, so if you don’t like the options today more are coming.
Both the Bolt and the BMW i3 were extremely fun to drive. Responsive, smooth, and quiet. They can also save you $1500 a year in fuel (if you drive ~20,000 kms a year) and they are a huge benefit to the environment. If you’re interesting in reading more about the environmental benefits and are maybe skeptical of their manufacturing, please check out the article I recently wrote for Teslarati. It covers the lifecycle impact of an electric vehicle and compares manufacturing emissions. Also did you know that driving an EV results in a 94% reduction in operating greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario?
Please also complete the survey on electric vehicles at UHN to help us plan for future charging needs. Survey – Gauging Electric Vehicle Interest at UHN
Electric vehicles are going to be a big part of our sustainable future. But they are still just one part, even within transportation. Carpooling, mass transit, cycling, and walking are all better options than single occupancy vehicle trips. They reduce congestion, facilitate social interaction, save money, and generally improve health. Please consider them as part of your transportation options.