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Ask a Mechanic....Advice on electric vehicles

In today’s column we discuss what to look for when switching to an electric vehicle.
Nida Zafar
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Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column we discuss what to look for when switching to an electric vehicle.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

I currently drive a 2001 Toyota Sienna that’s on its final days. I’m looking to upgrade and want to get an electric vehicle but I’m concerned this may not be the best option for me. While I live in the city, I often visit family living in northern Ontario, and I’m not sure my vehicle will make it on a single charge or if I’ll be able to find any charging stations along the way. What type of vehicle should I look into? – EV newbie

Daniel Breton is the president and CEO of Electric Mobility Canada, an organization that advocates for the use of electric vehicles. He believes you don’t have much to worry about since there are many options on the market that can travel long distances without the constant need to be recharged. For example, if you’re hoping to stick with a minivan, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is one of many available options. It’s a plug-in hybrid vehicle that will allow you to switch between electric and gas. “You can charge the vehicle at home, but on the road, you don’t have to look for chargers.” Breton said the answer could differ if more information was available on how far the reader had to travel, as some fully electric vehicles may be able to make the trip on a single charge. He explained there are also many apps available to download that can help drivers find chargers close to them.

 

Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to wheels@thestar.ca. These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.

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