Potential Canadian EV owners are starting off their week with some good news, as the federal government confirms plans to expand the EV rebate program. Specifically, the new changes will ensure more electric cars and SUVs can qualify for rebates, including some of the new SUVs and pickups that are set to hit the market in the near future.
According to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, four in five Canadians are interested in purchasing an EV as their next vehicle, but because the purchase prices are still a little higher than conventional gasoline cars, they need a little help to nudge them along. “We know that the future of our transportation sector has to be green,” he said. “And the future is zero-emission vehicles.”
To qualify for the rebate, the maximum price for cars will rise to $55,000 ($65,000 with options), and for trucks, SUVs and vans to $60,000 ($70,000 with options). Battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles that can travel at least 50 kilometres on a single charge will qualify for $5,000, while those that get a shorter range can qualify for $2,500. Notably, these changes mean that 14 new EVs can be added to the list, and increased the available rebate for select plug-in hybrids.
The rebate program was first established in 2019 and, since then, has contributed $611 million in rebates to more than 141,000 EV buyers. With recent budget changes, the rebate has received an influx of $1.7 billion in spending towards incentives for EVs.
The expansion of the rebate program remains aligned with the Liberal governments’ promise to encourage the shift to an electrified automotive sector, with EVs accounting for one-fifth of vehicles sold by 2026. By 2030, those mandates will dictate that half of sales must be electric and, by 2035, the production of new gas-powered vehicles will no longer be allowed. For comparison sake, in 2021 about one in 20 new vehicles was electric.