Difference between a hybrid and an electric car in Canada?

The main difference between a hybrid and an electric car is that there is a conventional gasoline powered engine that helps drive a hybrid alongside it's electric motors. Whereas in a full electric vehicle, its drive comes purely from it's electric motors powered by batteries which makes it a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV). Alongside the perks of a cleaner and greener future, there are many perks of driving an electric vehicle in Canada.

In British Columbia:
Stretches of British Columbia highways have made provisions to allow electric vehicles to be driven on the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane regardless of the number of passengers in your EV. These HOV lanes will be marked IE. below:

Eligible vehicles include:
  • Battery electric vehicle (BEV)
  • Fuel cell vehicle (FCV)
  • Plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)
  • Extended range electric vehicle (EREV)
Normal hybrids (gasoline hybrids that do not plug in to an external outlet) are not eligible for this program.


How to Apply?
  1. Understand if your EV is eligible by checking it against the comprehensive list of EVs available in Canada here.
  2. Fill out the HOV/EV permit application form and follow the instructions within to submit
**Do note** - the HOV OK decal is required to be displayed on your car whilst using the HOV lane. Even if you drive an eligible vehicle but have yet to apply or receive your decal, you run the risk of being pulled over and issued a ticket if your HOV OK decal is not displayed

In Ontario:
Similar to the above program, in Ontario - vehicles using the Green license plate is eligible to drive on the High Occupancy vehicle (HOV) and High-Occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on the 400 series highways and the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). Eligible vehicles for the Green license plate include: