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.

Until EVs reach price parity in sticker price, incentives are needed to “level the playing field” between electric and gas cars. New vehicle incentives also help grow the supply of used EVs in the market, bringing down the price of used electric cars over time. The federal EV rebate program needs to be updated to support the types of vehicles Canadians want to buy: long-range electric cars, SUVs and pickup trucks. Going forward, Canada should base eligibility on a straightforward evaluation of price relative to electric range, rather than sticker price alone.

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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.

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3. Offer incentives for used EVs

About 60% of car purchases in Canada occur in the second-hand market. Make EV incentives available to used car buyers to increase EV adoption.

4. Provide a low-and-modest income household purchase incentive “top-up”

Low- and modest-income Canadians also benefit from the fuel and maintenance savings an electric car provides, but are less likely able to afford a new vehicle. Canada should establish an additional income-tested incentive for new or used EVs, and offer support for the installation of home charging infrastructure.

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

Taxi, carshare, rideshare or ride-hailing companies who purchase or lease cars currently face a cap on how many EV incentives they’re able to take advantage of. Remove this cap for these and other companies facilitating or providing transportation to the public to help them go fully electric by 2030.

6. Offer low-interest loans to first time EV buyers

Often lower-income Canadians have trouble accessing financial support to help cover the initial purchasing cost of an EV. The Canada Infrastructure Bank, or other government agency, should step in to fill this gap and provide low-interest EV loans to consumers who need it most.

7. Support consumer EV education

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

Policy Details

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