Light-Duty EV Consumer Adoption

1. Continue purchase incentives for new passenger EVs but focus on value for electric-only range to include long range electric cars, SUVs and pickup trucks.

The government should continue to provide purchase incentives to make EVs more affordable until their prices are equivalent to those of gas vehicles. This levels the playing field between the two types of vehicles. New vehicle incentives also increase the number of used EVs available which, over time, leads to lower prices for used electric cars. The federal EV rebate program should be updated to include more of the long-range cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks that Canadians want to buy. Going forward, eligibility for incentives should be based on the price relative to electric range, rather than sticker price alone. If a given trim of a Zero-Emission car, crossover, or SUV costs less than $145 (MSRP) per kilometer of range (EPA/NRCan) offered, it should be eligible. If a trim of a ZEV pickup truck costs less than $180 per kilometer of range, it too should be eligible. All zero emission vehicles under $45,000 in price should remain eligible, regardless of their price-to-range value. Plugin hybrids (PHEVs) at this price point should also be eligible for incentives but only if they offer at least 80 km of electric range 

2. Have the most polluting vehicles fund EV incentives for new vehicles

Impose a fee on the most polluting new vehicles and use the revenues generated to fund EV purchase incentives. This approach would offer consumers a choice: they can purchase a cleaner car and get a EV incentive or choose a more polluting car and help support other Canadians in going electric.

Policy Details.

3. Make EVs more accessible for low- and modest-income households

Low- and modest-income Canadians also benefit from the fuel and maintenance savings an electric car provides but are less likely to be able to afford a new or even a used EV. Canada should establish an income-tested incentive program to make EVs more accessible for consumers who need more support. The program should include an incentive ‘top-up’ for the purchase of a new EV, an incentive/rebate for the purchase of a used EV, and low-interest loans for first time EV buyers.  

4. Make it easier for taxi, carshare, rideshare or other ride-hailing companies to go electric

To accelerate the transition to fully electric transportation by 2030, it is important to prioritize the electrification of high-use vehicles, such as those used by taxi, carshare, rideshare, and ride-hailing companies. Currently, these businesses face a cap on the number of EV incentives they can access under the iZEV program when purchasing or leasing cars. To support their transition to EVs, we recommend removing this cap for these and other transportation facilitators and providers. 

5. Support consumer EV education

Many Canadians want to go electric but have unanswered questions or do not know where to start. Work with leading and trusted organizations like Plug’n Drive, EV Society, Plug in British Columbia, EVAAC, AVÉQ and others to establish a suite of programs to educate and support consumers in making the transition to electric vehicles. 

Though interest for EVs is growing, Canadian consumers still express concerns and low levels of consumer awareness continue to be a barrier. Consumer education efforts could include creating a Canadianized version of MIT’s and supporting communication initiatives on the availability and ease of charging. 

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