CRITICAL UPDATE: The rebate programme has officially ended. However, you have until 10th September, 2018, to register and title a vehicle in Ontario, for the mail-in rebate. After that, that’s it. So hurry.
As an incentive toward the renewable energy revolution and also to achieve its Green House Gases(GHG) reduction objective, the Government of Ontario-Canada, is offering up to fourteen thousand dollars($14K) cash towards your purchase/lease of an electric or hybrid vehicle.
The program dubbed the ‘Electric Vehicle Incentive Program'(EVIP) was introduced in 2010; however, it was modernized in 2016 “to support the adoption of electric vehicles, reward early adopters and create a market demand for technology”.
The official start date was 1st January, 2017 and like most government programs, it will not last forever. So if you are in the market for a car, this is the perfect opportunity for it. Other provinces across Canada are offering similar incentives, but Ontario has the highest as far as cash value is concerned. Quebec is in close second with up to $8,000 dollars.
( A group of young professionals checking out the Mercedes GLE 550e – Picture by A.Anoff)
Now, of course not every vehicle will qualify for the full $14,000, so here are some of the qualifiers:
- Vehicle must be a passenger plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or a full-battery electric vehicle (BEV).
- Not previously registered.
- New, registered and insured in Ontario.
- Have 4 wheels and road-worthy- (sorry no scooters or segways).
- Not weigh more than 10 000 pounds (4 536 kilograms) and made to drive on the roads (no wheel chairs or golf carts).
(A man admiring the engine of the new Toyota Prius Hybrid – Picture by A. Anoff)
Examples of some vehicles in this category are: Audi A3 etron, BMW-i3 & X5 Phev, Ford Focus EV, Chevy Bolt, Hyundai Ionic, Kia Soul EV, Mercedes GLE 550e, Tesla Model S, and many more.
For the full list, visit the Ontario Government website.
Now what are some of the benefits of driving an electric vehicle?
a) Besides the cash up front, you get a special green license plate that allows you to drive in the HOV lanes even by yourself;
b) No oil change or high maintenance costs, like most cars.
c) Low insurance rates, regardless of your postal code;
d) You help the environment by reducing the amount of green house gasese) You spend less on fuel and we all breathe better;f) You upgrade your status by driving a newer, quieter car – good for sneaking up on your children at home.
(Features on the new Toyota Mirai – picture by A. Anoff)
Surprisingly or not surprisingly, some car manufacturers have drastically raised the prices of their electric vehicles to cover the incentive, with the claim that there is a high demand. Where the cost is low, they will throw in all the extra options and sell it as standard equipment. Nothing can be further from the truth. So shop around, ask a lot of questions and bargain, bargain, bargain. If you have to, check for prices online in other cities and provinces, ask them to deliver it to the nearest dealer or your home and finance it through your bank or another lender.
(Price tag for the Ford Fusion at $46 838.00 – picture by A.Anoff)
While visiting this years Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto this past February, we noticed that just about every vehicle manufacturer had on display an electric or hybrid vehicle. Remember, there is an objective to reduce carbon emissions to certain level by a certain time; not a high demand for electric vehicles as they will make you believe. In the near future, manufacturers who are not able to achieve this, will not be able to sell vehicles.
In my opinion, the Hyundai Ionic, offers the best combination of savings, incentives and driving range than most vehicles on the market, but driving tastes and preferences differ from person-to-person, so look around.
In addition to the cost of the vehicle, Ontario also pays for buying and installing your home charger; which leads to the next question: what types of charging are available on the market and how far will a full charge go?
(Level 2 charger by Bosch, offered by Kia Motors at autoshow – Picture by A.Anoff)
There are 3 types of chargers for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles:
- Level 1 chargers plug into the regular 110volt outlets at home or anywhere else and usually take 8- 10 hours (sometimes 12) to get a full charge. This is okay if you are charging overnight.
- Level 2 (picture above) chargers run on the 220-40 volts range like (like your electric stove) and can be bought and installed in your garage or on the side of your building. These normally take between 30 minutes to a couple of hours to get a full charge. Some malls, parks, businesses and offices also offer these for a small fee (like $3.00).
- Level 3 chargers are high voltage chargers at designated charging points across the country that will give you a full charge in matter of minutes or an hour(maybe 2). There are several phone apps and websites available to help you identify their locations at a cost. Thus the incentive.
(Inside of the BMW i3 vehicle- picture by A. Anoff)
So if you are ready for your electric or hybrid vehicle – walk, run or drive by your nearest dealer before “the well” runs dry.
Those of you old enough to remember when there were incentives to buy colour televisions in the 1960’s and 70’s, this is the time for electric vehicles. Good Luck! – Amankwah Anoff