If you’re thinking of buying a new vehicle that is powered by electricity or is the hybrid variety, a new government program will be worth taking a look at.
The federal government’s new three-year, $300 million incentive program will apply to battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. The fact that hybrids are now included adds a significant number of vehicles to the eligibility list.
The program’s official name is the Incentives for the Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program and it is due to go into effect on May 1, of 2019. Announced in the March federal budget, the program is part of the government’s commitment to a zero-emission vehicle strategy they want in place by 2040.
That doesn’t mean any electric vehicle owner will be able to get a rebate though. There are a few guidelines involved.
A government website currently lists 27 vehicles that are eligible for the a rebate.
Car manufacturers include Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Smart. Some manufacturers have two or three models eligible, while some only have one model the fits the bill.
Currently there are only three models of hydrogen fuel-cell cars being produced and they are in select markets. Hyundai and Honda have fuel-cell cars with Toyota leading the way in that technology with plans to produce more.
To be eligible for the incentives, a passenger vehicle must have a base-model manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $45,000 for vehicles with six or few seats, and less than $55,000 for vehicles with seven or more seats.
If a vehicle does have six or less seats, you can still apply for the incentive if it is a higher priced model because it is a higher trim level – as long as the suggested retail price is $55,000 or less.
The incentives will be meted out based on the type of vehicle.
For fully electric vehicles, long-range PHEVs, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, owners can receive $5000. That will be stacked on top of rebates offered in British Columbia and Quebec. If you live in Ontario you’re out of luck as the province cancelled its rebate program.
If you purchase a shorter-range PHEV, you can receive $2500.
As of now, only vehicles purchase on or after May 1, will qualify. The federal government has not yet announced how rebates will be distributed but has the the information should be available by April 30, 2019.
For business owners, this could be a real help if they are running a fleet. Small business owners will be able to write off up to $55,000 per year for zero-emission vehicles.
According to a government spokesperson, the program is designed to encourage people to buy electric vehicles citing research that shows the top reason people aren’t buying electric is because of the current cost. Offering a rebate, they say, will be the incentive for some people to take the plunge and by a fully electric or hybrid vehicle.
New electric and hybrid vehicles are getting better all the time and the ‘anxiety range’ that stopped a lot of people from going electric is starting to go away as new vehicles increase their range almost every year.
If you have been thinking of going electric, this rebate program just might be the incentive you need to give up your gasoline powered car.
Written by Brian Lockhart