New Incentives for Electric Cars in Canada

Looking to put some spark in the green car market, Ontario announced that it would be offering consumers subsidies of 4,000 to 10,000 Canadian dollars ($3,600 to $8,900) against the purchase of plug-in hybrid or battery electric cars, starting next July.

In a statement, Premier Dalton McGuinty said the plan “helps get more people behind the wheel of a green vehicle to create jobs, reduce smog and equip Ontario for the 21st century.”

A Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid electric car is coming on line later this year, but the Ontario government owns 3.9 percent of General Motors, so the subsidy is certainly meant to help boost sales of the new Chevrolet Volt, which goes on sale in 2010.

According to The Globe and Mail, “a rebate of $10,000 would reduce the expected price of the Volt to about $30,000 from $40,000, closer to what Americans and Canadians are willing to pay for a mainstream, everyday car.”

Ontario’s electric-vehicle strategy also calls for the development of a charging infrastructure and fleet purchases by provincial government agencies. Electric cars will also be given green license plates and will be eligible to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes at any time, even if there’s only one person in the car.

By 2020, Premier McGuinty said he wants to see electric cars account for one in 20 new vehicle purchases by the end of the next decade. With about 300,000 passenger vehicles sold in Ontario in 2008, according to data from Statistics Canada, Mr. McGuinty’s goal translates into a sales target of about 18,000 electric cars by the end of the next decade.

In other Canadian electric car news, Vancouver’s council last week unanimously passed a bylaw that will require developers of new condos and multi-unit residential complexes to ensure that a fifth of on-site parking spaces have 240-volt electric-vehicle charging stations. The council also supported a pilot project for public charging sites.

Vancouver is the first North American city to directly link development rules to an electric-vehicle infrastructure, local media reported.

While the charge stations will cost $900 to $1,300 each, some builders are concerned that the municipality may be betting on the wrong technology.

“We are always supportive of going green and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we want to make sure that this is the right green-car technology,” Jeff Fisher, the deputy executive director of the Urban Development Institute, told The Vancouver Sun. “There are a number out there. We have had hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and concepts like the ‘hydrogen highway’ for some time. We feel it might be premature to mandate this.”

No comments:

Post a Comment