The Canadian government has nearly spent half of its incentive budget for electric cars in just 8 months. The $300 million budget was supposed to last for the next three years.
Instead, the federal government has already given out $134 million in rebates to about 33,000 Canadians who have purchased electric cars as of January 19. Rebates for zero emission vehicle purchase are $2500 to $5000.
Transport Canada said that electric vehicle sales have risen by 32 per cent after the federal government launched their rebates in May.
“We’re getting more Canadians buying [electric] cars because they see the [economic benefit] of driving an electric car, in addition to the environmental benefits,” said Al Cormier the president and CEO of Electric Mobility Canada.
According to Electric Mobility Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing electric transportation, most electric car sales come from the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia.
In a report from last year, Electric Mobility Canada said that 46 per cent of electric car sales come from Quebec, while 29 per cent came from British Columbia. Ontario accounts for 20 per cent of electric car sales, with the last 5 per cent coming from Canada’s seven other provinces.
“Costs have gone down considerably in the last five or six years and indeed were down as production capacity increases and technologies increase.,” Cormier said, adding that the up front cost of an electric vehicle has been one of the main barriers of purchasing one over a conventional car.
Cormier expects electric cars to eventually become as affordable as conventional cars in the next five years.
The rebates on electric car purchases is part of the Liberal government’s plan to have to have 10 per cent of all light car sales to be zero emission vehicles by 2025, 30 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2040.
With files from the Canadian Press and Radio Canada International