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Ontario Cuts Rebates for Electric Vehicles Costing More than $75K

A government rebate program created to motivate people to buy or lease electric vehicles in Ontario has been limited to cars costing less than $75k. The changes come as increasing amounts of taxpayer dollars are being doled out to pay for a series of incentives designed to encourage electric vehicle sales. Incentives include the following:

  • A host of incentives and programs, including a rebate program which involves offering tens of millions of dollars in rebates to electric vehicle owners
  • Installing a network of charging stations
  • Opening a million-dollar electric vehicle education centre in North York

In 2016 alone, nearly $800k was spent providing rebates for vehicles with six-figure price tags. The Porsche 918 Spyder comes with a staggering $1.1 million price and garners a rebate of over $5,000. Five of these were purchased that year, resulting in over $25k in rebates. This prompted Premier Kathleen Wynne to make changes, capping subsidies at $3,000 for vehicles costing over $75k. Despite this, rules were changed again in 2017, allowing for rebates of up to $14k for vehicles costing between $75k and $150k.

Recently, however, the government once again updated its incentive program to limit rebates to vehicles costing less than $75, only this time it also removed incentives for Tesla vehicles altogether. The list of eligible vehicles also excludes plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

However, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were added to the list. These vehicles are eligible for rebates up to $14k, whether they are purchased or leased. The changes to the incentive program went into effect on March 9th.

Changes were also made to the way rebates are calculated for qualifying vehicles. Rebates between $3,000 and $10,000 are available for all-electric range vehicles, and an additional $2,000 to $7,000 depends on the vehicle’s seating capacity. However, the total rebate is capped at $14k. According to Ontario Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Courtney Anderson, the changes were necessary as electric vehicles evolved.

“As a result, we needed to update the incentive structure to reflect industry innovation and focus program resources on making EVs accessible to as many Ontario families as possible,” said Anderson. “Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are an emerging technology that promises to provide another option for zero-emissions travel.”

According to the Ministry of Transportation’s website, “Accelerating the shift to low- and zero-emission vehicles will be crucial if Ontario is to achieve it climate change goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to 15% below 1990 levels in 2020, 37% in 2030, and 80% in 2050.” The full list of changes to the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program is as follows:

  • Incentives of up to $14,000 will be provided for eligible hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs)
  • Incentives for eligible battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are now determined based on each vehicle’s all-electric range and seating capacity. The updated incentives vary from $5,000 to $14,000.
  • Incentives will no longer be provided for PHEVs or BEVs with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $75,000 or more.
  • Incentives will no longer be provided for PHEVs or BEVs leased for less than three years.

For more information concerning these changes, view the Ministry of Transportation’s website and the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program Guide.

 

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