Electric car sales climb after federal rebate program

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Canada’s new rebate program for those investing in electric cars has prompted more buyers to consider going electric.

On May 1, Ottawa began offering rebates of up to $5,000 on the purchase of some electric vehicles in a bid to bring the cost of lower-end models closer to that of their gas-powered cousins.

It was first announced in the March budget, as a means to spur on demand for electric cars by 10 per cent of all vehicles sold by 2025, 30 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2040.

Last year, electric and plug-in hybrids accounted for about two per cent of total vehicle sales.

Transport Canada estimates that 14,000 electric cars and minivans were bought nationwide using the rebate since May 1. The department, which is overseeing the rebate program.

But here’s the thing to be remembered, most of the sales of these electric cars have happened in British Columbia and Quebec which have had these provincial rebates. Ontario did until last year when Premier Doug Ford cancelled it after being elected, and both allow their rebate to be combined with the federal one for even greater savings.

There are rules governing the sales distribution is that both B.C. and Quebec that require dealerships to sell a certain percentage of electric cars, failing which they have to either pay a fine or buy credits from competitors who exceeded their quotas.

The federal rebates are available for fully electric vehicles whose lowest-end model retails for less than $45,000, or $55,000 for vehicles that have seven or more seats like minivans. Up to $5,000 is available, with fully electric vehicles bought outright or leased for at least four years eligible for the maximum. Shorter-range plug-in hybrids or fully electric cars leased for shorter times are eligible for rebates between $625 and $3,750 depending on the length of the lease and the type of vehicle. -CINEWS

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