Zero-emission vehicles and reasonable kms rates

Recently I ended up in the weeds for two days helping a client plan for the possible purchase of a zero-emission vehicle (fully electric) for Uber driving and person to person renting via a local app.

We ran through a bunch of scenarios which required some deep research on my part.

At the end I was left pondering if and when the kms rates would be updated for zero-emission vehicles. Tesla had a 2019 promo which included free charging for two years. Even with paid charging the operating costs for operating these newer battery electric vehicles are a small fraction of those for hybrid or gas/diesel vehicles.

If and when anyone hears any news on this front, could they please reply or post to this topic.

While the cost to charge the batteries may be low, what is the cost to replace those batteries? How long are they supposed to hold a charge that would enable them to be used reliably as a taxi or uber?

The regular batter in my car is replaced every few years. Imagine a battery that is used to move the vehicle. How long will it last? Our phones stop holding a reliable charge after a couple of years vs what they did when new.

This isn’t to debate the merits of battery powered vehicles, just to discuss if the per km allowance the CRA permits is an accurate estimate of actual operating costs

See New Study Details Tesla’s Million-Mile Battery Tech


You made some very relevant points regarding maintenance costs. My client was looking at the Tesla model 3.

As @helga_spence noted, the battery life is 500,000 kms

Tesla 2019 Model 3
Standard Range Model Plus Rear-Wheel Drive
Two years super charging at Tesla location free. (at the time of offer.)

  • 386 km range per EPA according to Tesla site.
  • 2000 km range per my client.

I don’t understand the reason for the variance. His current vehicle is the Volt so he may have assumed that range. His current charge costs him between $20 and $30. If that was for 2000 kms then the operating costs are massively lower.

Since there is no traditional engine, there is no oil change, tuning, filters, spark plugs, etc.

The vehicle has/had a $5000 government rebate. I don’t know the details.


Tesla maintenance.

" Unlike gasoline cars, Tesla cars require no traditional oil changes, fuel filters, spark plug replacements or emission checks. As electric cars, even brake pad replacements are rare because regenerative braking returns energy to the battery, significantly reducing wear on brakes."

For more details refer to:-

Estimated cost to replace the Model 3 battery module around $5000 to $7000 USD.

" With the rise of electric cars the question the cost of replacement batteries has occupied many experts and owner forums. In a tweet last week Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, indicated the cost of replacing battery modules in the companies Model 3 will cost about $3000 - $7000 USD.

Not a bad price considering the current batteries are designed to last 300,000 to 500,000 miles, which is the equivalent of 1,500 cycles. Its key to note that the car has been designed so that only the battery modules, not the whole pack needs to be replaced. "

Just one cent worth advice which may not be appropriate but would like to add is that is it really worth driving for uber or other programs where most of the money like 30% is charged by the companies as their fees. When you add depreciation cost of the cars and risk being on the road and exposed more for accident elements along with risk to get traffic tickets and pay more for insurance. Personally i still do not recommend any one driving it with their own risk and costs. Sorry.


I own 2 fully electric cars (2018 Soul EV and 2018 Chevrolet Bolt) so can answer better than most here who are speculating and or believing everything they read on the internet.

Re: the battery lasting less time due to moving the vehicle - your gas (ICE) car is using a lead acid battery - a completely different animal than the lithium batteries driving these cars. Apples and oranges can’t be compared.

Charging 2 vehicles and driving approx 2,500 kms a month costs us about $35 a month. We rarely use free charging, though there are lots of stations around for that.
The only fluid you put in is windshield washer fluid.
No oil changes, etc. The only maintenance is to go once a year to have bearings, etc. greased and wipers possibly replaced.

Range - your client is confused - there is no EV out there that can get 2,000 kms (or the gas car companies would all be out of business in a heartbeat) The Volt does have a gas engine, but it is used to charge the battery on the fly, not to drive the car. That is where your client is getting the 2,000 km’s from (extended range). Using regeneration all EV’s get more range than their advertised range, but this is dependant on your driving style and how much you adopt the EV best practices to extend your range (lead footed peeps need not apply)

Battery life - 99% of companies are saying useable life is 8 years. Each winter the cold steals a bit of your range unless you are parked in a warm garage. Each of my cars lost about 6% last winter. One of them was outside through the ice storm, one in the unheated garage. Cost to replace the batteries is estimated to be about $5,000, which would equate to the cost of regular maintenance of an ICE vehicle (oil changes, brakes, rad, etc.) Oh! And about brakes. Because all electric cars are equipped with regenerative braking, you extend your range considerably when doing stop and go driving - by not using your brakes! You let the car slow itself by simply taking your foot off the accelerator. If done right, you could actually have the original brake pads still on the vehicle when it gets scrapped 10 or so years down the road. Tough to accomplish, yes, but feasible if you only drive in the city. My Bolt will bring the car to a complete stop, hubby’s Soul gets it down to a crawl and the brake pedal finishes the job.

Would I use one as an Uber? Here in the lower mainland, most cab companies are now using at least the plug in hybrids and are moving to the fully electrics. Considering the mileage they put on, it’s a good choice since there are a massive number of free charging options located just about everywhere and fast charging gets you to 80% charge in 30 minutes (while you have your lunch)

Hope this helps you out Dominique


Thank you :slight_smile:
Helps lots!

and some not tax related, but otherwise fun facts worth mentioning… if you ever wanted to experience that negative-G force adrenaline feeling you only thought possible on a roller coaster…

A stock Tesla Model S (P100D with Ludicrous Mode) can accelerate from 0-60mph (0 - 96.62km/h) in less than 2.5 seconds, with enough mind numbing force to make it seem like your headrest has a gravitational pull on the back of your skull.

At the racetrack, the completely unmodified P100D can virtually outrun any gasoline powered muscle car with an impressive quarter mile time of 10.6 seconds (@ 205km/h).

Of course… it doesn’t sound anywhere near as sexy as a 1967 GT500 or any other muscle type race car for that matter… but the Tesla can still outrun all of them when it comes to acceleration.

Oh… and the Tesla S runs about 595km on a single charge.

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I have a 2013 Nissan Leaf. It has 92% of original battery power left. My husband the electrical engineer says this is fairly amazing for a 6 year old car - who ever had it before us took excellent care of it. We bought it a year ago off a 5 year lease and I don’t think the battery has lost much if any power over the last year. We do follow best charging practices to extend the battery life - i.e. don’t charge more than 80% full unless you have to for a long trip and try not to run it to less than 20% remaining. Car stays in our unheated garage when not in use but winter temps around here are usually above -10C. We use it for zipping around in the city and it has a range of about 80-100 kms when charged to 80%. Since most of the trips are 30 or less this works great. It needs about 5kWh to charge up every other day or so - say 75kWh/mth at 14 cents per kWh or $10 or so a month in electricity costs. We have a home charger.

Thank you for you tips and tricks. I had not realized that there are special best practices for EV batteries.

Up until last week everything that I knew about the maintenance and care of passenger vehicles was restricted to the traditional gas powered one.

My father was an electrical engineer. He performed basis and simple repairs on all his vehicles until the mid 1990’s. Dad loved well engineered cars and motor bikes. He shared his love of cars with my sister and I. My sister’s husband repaired and restored his favorite make and model of big American sedans throughout high school, university, and beyond as a hobby. He did everything including the body work. As a family we babied our vehicles for longevity and optimized cost of ownership as well as the love of a good ride. As a result I had felt somewhat competent in understanding the ins and outs of maintaining the various makes and models. This helped me in bookkeeping and tax to discern reasonable gas and maintenance expenses on various types of vehicles vs missing or inflated expenses.

With the new hybrids and zero emission vehicles I find that there is so much to learn that I barely know where to start. I appreciate any and all tips, tricks, and other useful information.

# 10 Tips to Extend the Life of Your EV Battery
by Guest Blogger | Mar 1, 2018 | Education, Electric Vehicles (EV)