Transport accounts for around one-fifth of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (24% if we only consider CO2 emissions from energy). In some countries – often richer countries with populations that travel often – transport can be one of the largest segments of an individual's carbon footprint.

Based on an examination of FTA's data and other academic, government, and industry sources, public transportation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by: Providing a low emissions alternative to driving. Facilitating compact land use, reducing the need to travel long distances.

What is an EV and PHEV?

Electric Vehicle:

Electric vehicles (EVs) have a battery instead of a gasoline tank, and an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. 

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle:

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are a combination of gasoline and electric vehicles, so they have a battery, an electric motor, a gasoline tank, and an internal combustion engine. PHEVs use both gasoline and electricity as fuel sources.

Emissions Comparison: 

EVs: No gas emissions when operating and driving the car. When charging, it can increase emission at the powerplant, although it is still significantly less than gasoline cars. 

PHEVs: When gasoline is being used as a fuel source


  • A  plug-in hybrid (PHEV) emits an average of 28 tonnes of CO2 in its lifetime.

  • When it comes to electric cars, there is a grey area about how much emission they emit. Although the car does not emit CO2, the electricity source the car is powered by can emit CO2. 17.50 tons of carbon dioxide is emitted when producing an electric car battery.   

  • Petrol or diesel car is estimated to emit between 39 and 41 tonnes of CO2 from fuel during its lifetime

Learn about fuel consumption ratings and how you can read the rating of your car. here.

A few questions you've been asking yourself

Aren’t Electric Cars Expensive?

You don’t have to buy a brand new electric car. Many used electric cars are very affordable and maintainable. Electric cars are usually more expensive to buy outright(new)  than gas-powered equivalents. Prices run around $30,000 to $40,000, but many provinces in North America and even the United States offer incentives and discounts that can make them more affordable. For instance, Quebec offers rebates of up to $8,000 and BC offers rebates of up to $5,000


Although Electric cars may cost more to buy, they’re more affordable to run than gas-powered cars. For one thing, fuel costs are lower. On average, it costs $300 to $400 per year to charge an electric vehicle, depending on when and where you charge it. A typical plug-in hybrid costs about $700 per year. By comparison, a gasoline car can cost you easily $2,500 or more a year to fill up. 


Electric cars are also a lot cheaper to maintain and service because they have fewer moving parts and don’t need oil changes. You can even save money on your car insurance

Can electric vehicles handle Canadian winters?

In wintry weather, electric car batteries can lose more than half their range. You can make up for this in part by warming up the car while it’s still plugged in, using economy mode settings and sticking to the speed limit. Canadians who drive 20 to 100 km a day and have access to a charging station may find that an electric car is the right choice, even in the winter.

How far can I drive an electric car before it needs recharging?

Depending on road conditions and your driving habits, the average is 140 to 450 km on a single charge. That’s fine for most people who travel less than 80 km per day. But an electric vehicle might not be the best choice for longer trips because charging stations can be hard to find. Plus, charging stations exist in 3 standard charging levels.


The good news? Charging stations are popping up everywhere. There’s a growing network of 5,000+ public charging stations in Canada. Some provinces offer rebates and subsidies when you install a charging station at home, and new condominium buildings often have charging areas in their parking lots.


Electric Vehicle & Plugin-Hybrid EV

Find out how much of you can reduce your footprint by driving different vehicles!

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