Ontario Liberal Party Pledges $8,000 Provincial Rebate for EVs if Elected

On Tuesday, the Ontario Liberal Party announced a campaign pledge to offer an $8,000 incentive for buying or leasing a new electric vehicle (EV) in the province, should they succeed in the provincial election slated to take place next June 2022 in the Canadian province — reports CBC News.

Steven Del Duca, leader of the Ontario Liberals, made the announcement at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. Del Duca also promised a provincial subsidy program that will cover 30% of the cost of installing electric chargers in parking lots, apartment buildings, and workplaces, along with a $1,500 CAD rebate for the purchase of home charging equipment.

The Ontario Liberal Party’s promised incentive program will carry the same eligibility criteria as the federal government’s Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) rebates: an MSRP of no more than $55,000 CAD.

Unfortunately, repeated price hikes in Canada have rendered the Tesla Model 3, the world’s best-selling premium vehicle, ineligible for the federal iZEV program and numerous provincial rebates — any future incentives in Ontario included.

Notably, electric vehicles with seven or more seats will get some leeway under the program, remaining eligible at an MSRP of up to $60,000 CAD.

The New Democrats and the Green Party have also presented environmental platforms for the upcoming election campaign.

The New Democrats have pledged “strong” financial incentives for the purchase of non-luxury EVs, $600 grants for home charging equipment, and investment in charging infrastructure and also promised to ensure 45% of all vehicles sold in Ontario be zero-emission by 2030.

The Green Party has presented similar promises, including unspecified rebates for EVs, but have vowed to make sure a whopping 100% of all vehicles sold in Ontario be zero-emission by 2030 and that half of all spaces in parking lots have charging stations by the same year.

Even though the promises of all three parties are just that — promises, they’re more than what current Ontario Premier Doug Ford has to offer.

Just last week, Premier Ford announced a plan to make Ontario an EV manufacturing hub, but at the same time rejected the idea of reinstating the provincial EV rebates his government binned in 2018.

Ford has repeatedly refused to endorse EV rebates when questioned about the issue this month.

“I’m not going to give rebates to guys that are buying $100,000 cars — millionaires,” he said on November 10.

Even if Premier Ford doesn’t see it, it is clear that Ontario needs to take steps to encourage EV adoption. In the third quarter of this year, ZEVs only accounted for 3% of all new vehicle registrations in the province, as compared to 9.9% in Quebec and 13% in British Columbia, both of which offer substantial incentives for EV buyers (via IHS Markit).