Ontario to provide $10,000 electric vehicle incentive
Province aims to become leader in building and driving electric cars.
In a move that may be a boon to Canada’s struggling electric car manufacturers, the McGuinty government announced a plan today that aims to have one out of every 20 vehicles driven in Ontario be electrically powered by 2020.
Under a plan, buyers of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles will receive rebates of between $4,000 and $10,000 for plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles purchased after July 1, 2010. In addition, drivers with special "Green vehicle" licence plates that would be allowed to use High Occupancy Vehicle (carpool) lanes with only one person in the car for five years starting in 2010. Electric and hybrid car owners would also have access public charging facilities and parking at Ontario government and GO Transit lots.
For its own part, the province’s plan calls for electric vehicles to be integrated into the Ontario Public Service (OPS) vehicle fleet. According to today’s announcement, twenty per cent of eligible new Ontario Public Sector passenger vehicle purchases will be electric by 2020, resulting in 500 electric vehicles added to the fleet.
In addition, the province would build recharging facilities in parking facilities owned by the Ontario government and GO Transit parking facilities. Officials said Ontario is working with the private sector and electricity organizations to develop business models for recharging facilities that will work within Ontario’s regulated electricity market.
The obvious benefit of the plan would be to make electric and hybrid cars more affordable. GM’s Chevy Volt, for example, will list for approximately $40,000 when it hits the streets next year. More importantly, the announcement may signal a turn-about on policy of low-speed electric vehicles in Ontario. Such vehicles have been banned in the province, although their use has been approved in Quebec and British Columbia. If Ontario follows suit, Canadian electric vehicle makers, like Toronto’s Zenn Motor, could see a new, lucrative market open.
For more on Zenn Motor, check out DE’s April 2008 Cover story “Electric Avenue”.