How much will it cost to use the charging stations?

    Fees for using the charging stations will be in line with existing City of Ottawa public charging stations.

    Type of Charging StationPer Use Fee
    Level 2
    • $3.50 flat rate for Park and Ride parking lots
    • $2.00/hour at all other City sites (regardless of breaker status)
    DC Fast Charger
    • $0.28/minute (regardless of breaker status and based on a 50 kilowatt charger)

    Will the City be adding more charging stations?

    The City will continue to apply for funding to add additional charging stations across Ottawa to fill existing gaps and ensure residents have greater access to reliable charging stations. The charging station locations are being chosen based on need, technical and equity and inclusion considerations, and feedback from residents.

    Why is the City installing Level 2 charging station and not faster ones?

    The City is installing a mix of charging stations. Level 2 charging stations are significantly cheaper to install and require less power compared to Level 3 stations. This allows for greater coverage and a greater number of overall chargers to be installed. Level 2 chargers can provide 35 to 45 km per hour of charging which is enough to meet the average driver’s daily needs. These types of chargers are well suited for local use in residential areas. Level 3 chargers are better suited for inter-city travel corridors.

    How far can an electric vehicle go on one charge?

    Battery electric cars sold today can travel between 350 and 450 kilometres on a single charge. Since most Canadians drive 50 kilometres or less per day, an electric vehicle can easily meet the daily needs of most drivers. If you need to take a longer trip, there are many fast charging stations along highways and major roads that will fully charge your battery in 30 to 45 minutes.

    How does winter impact electric vehicles?

    Electric vehicles will start no matter how cold it is. The colder weather does impact range but not enough to impact daily driving needs. Pre-heating an electric car while it is still plugged can extend your range in winter as it uses grid energy to heat rather than depleting the battery.

    What about the batteries?

    Electric vehicle batteries use Lithium-ion technology, which is the same as smartphones, laptops and most rechargeable household electronics. Electric vehicle batteries are expected to outlast the car, with many examples of older electric vehicles operating on their original batteries. Once a battery has reached the end of its life in a vehicle it can be used in other ways such as storing electric energy for home energy backup. After this time the battery can be recycled, as the design of batteries includes features that make them easily recyclable.

    What happens in a power outage?

    It’s good practice to not let your car get too low on charge. Just like you wouldn’t let your gas tank get too empty. Since power outages are usually isolated to a small geographic area, if the power in your neighbourhood is out you can drive to a public charging station in a nearby neighbourhood that is not affected. Remember when the power goes out, it’s not possible to pump gas either.

    Thanks to bidirectional charging, some electric vehicles can also use energy stored in their batteries to power everyday electronics or even a house. Read more about how electric vehicles with bidirectional charging can help provide power during an outage.

    Can the electrical grid handle an influx of electric vehicles?

    Currently the grid has sufficient capacity overall for millions of electric vehicles, the problem is matching when the vehicles need to charge to when and where that capacity is available. Given that most electric vehicle charging can happen overnight when the demand for electricity is lower, the impact on the grid at the moment is minimal. The new Ultra-Low Overnight electricity price plan is designed to incentivize customers to use electricity when demand is low and electricity is cheaper. Ultra-Low Overnight rates can make charging an electric vehicle significantly cheaper.

    Utility companies, including Hydro Ottawa, are planning for the expected increase in electric vehicles and continue to ensure that the grid is capable of reliably delivering electricity. The switch to electric vehicles will be gradual. Even when new gas or diesel vehicles are no longer sold there will still be cars on the road that are not electric. This gives our electricity systems time to adapt and be built to support the needs of tomorrow’s electric vehicle drivers and broader electrification.