Also known as electric vehicles or EVs, electric cars are quickly gaining traction as the preferred transportation source in the 2020s. With dozens of countries pledging to extend tax cuts or incentives to electric vehicle companies and buyers of electric cars, the future looks bright for these zero-emission vehicles. 

If you're an Ontario resident searching for ways to cash in on the Ontario electric car rebate, here are a few ways to take advantage of government incentives.

Ontario Electric Car Rebate: EV at a charging station

Canadian Plans for an All-Electric Future

As one of the more progressive nations in the world, Canada remains at the forefront of the push for electric cars. A Canadian government initiative through Transport Canada laid out the following plans starting in 2020:

  • 10% of all light-duty cars electric by 2025.
  • 30% of all light-duty cars electric by 2030.
  • 100% of all light-duty cars electric by 2040.

However, the lapse in many provincial electric car incentive plans has caused this initiative to lag behind. According to a recent analysis, only 4% to 6% of cars will be electric by 2025 and just 10% by 2030. This means that gas cars will remain the most popular form of road transit in Canada for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, many automakers, such as Ford, Toyota, Kia, Volkswagen, GM, Hyundai, and Tesla continue to churn out more affordable EV options to attract car buyers. In addition, many of these cars now have features, options, and horsepower that rivals gas-powered vehicles. 

Green electric vehicle parked at a charging station

Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles

On May 1, 2019, Transport Canada began its Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles or IZEV program. This program, also known as ZEV, provides a federal rebate on point-of-sale purchases for electric cars, including cars bought online or in-person. 

The reasoning behind this incentive is not only to push consumers toward electric cars but also to lessen the impact of climate change and lower transportation emissions, which are the second-leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions throughout Canada.

While you get the federal rebate for new cars, keep in mind that the electric car incentive is built into the price of the vehicle. That means you may see the rebate amount on your actual invoice, rather than a post-purchase tax credit or something similar.

Eligible Vehicles for the IZEV Program

The ZEV program provides two types of incentive programs:

  • $2,500 off the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) or leasing costs of short-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
  • $5,000 off the MSRP or leasing costs of long-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles/plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Other eligibility requirements for an incentive are based on the price and passenger capacity of the vehicle:

  • If the vehicle has six seats or fewer, the vehicle must have a price of $45,000 or less for base trims or $55,000 for higher-level trims.
  • If the vehicle has seven seats or more, the vehicle must have a price of $55,000 or less for base trims or $60,000 or less for higher-level trims.

More Information on the Federal Incentive Program

Other than the topics listed above, the federal rebate program also offers a number of other features. These include:

  • 100% tax write-off for vehicles purchased between March 19, 2019, and January 1, 2024, up to $55,000.
  • Incentives extended not only to purchased vehicles, but also leased vehicles.
  • Only new EVs are eligible for the federal incentive program, not used vehicles.
  • Individuals can only take advantage of this program for a single vehicle while businesses and governments can get the incentive up to 10 times for fleets.

The Availability of Charging Stations

One of the major hurdles of incentivizing the purchase of electric cars is the availability of charging stations around the country. While cities such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver have between 500 and 1,200 chargers throughout each respective city, other major metropolitan areas still lag far behind.

However, Transport Canada has pledged millions of dollars to the construction of charging stations. In particular, the department wants to expand the network of fast-charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway to enable Canadians to travel farther and take longer road trips. Currently, the main thoroughfare has 51 stations, but this number should improve with more aid from the federal government and expansion from private charging station companies.

Provincial rebate for electric vehicles

The Demise of the Ontario Electric Car Rebate and Provincial Rebates That Remain

If you're an Ontario resident who wants to take advantage of incentives and rebate programs on electric cars, you may have to wait until the government brings the program back. In June 2018, Premier Doug Ford canceled a $14,000 provincial rebate on electric vehicle purchases, stating that it only benefited the wealthy. Following this decision, many other provinces followed suit.

It’s worth noting there is one non-financial incentive in Ontario, which is that you get access to carpool lanes even if you're only one person in the vehicle (Green Plate required). 

Today, only two provinces offer electric car rebates: Quebec and British Columbia.

Quebec Electric Car Purchase Incentives and Rebates

The Quebec government offers impressive incentives and a reduction in pricing for both new electric vehicles and used electric vehicles. Unfortunately, the government abolished rebates on non-rechargeable vehicles, but the rebate program remains in place for PHEVs and BAVs. This includes the following rebates (with the federal rebate program factored in):

  • $8,000 rebate on new electric vehicles
  • $8,000 rebate on hydrogen-powered vehicles
  • $4,000 rebate on used electric vehicles
  • $5,000 rebate on workplace charging stations
  • $5,000 rebate on multi-unit building charging stations
  • $600 rebate on a home charging station
  • $2,000 rebate on electric motorcycles
  • $500 rebate on electric scooters

In addition, this rebate isn't just for individuals. It also includes businesses and municipalities.

Ontario Electric Car Rebate: EV charging at a home garage

British Columbia Electric Car Purchase Incentives and Rebates

The British Columbia government also offers similar incentive programs to Quebec, providing sizable discounts to purchasers of both new and electric vehicles. This includes the following rebates (including the federal rebate incentive):

  • $8,000 rebate on new electric vehicles (BAVs)
  • $4,000 rebate on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)
  • $4,000 rebate on workplace charging stations
  • $4,000 rebate on multi-unit building charging stations
  • $700 rebate on a home charging station

​Like Quebec, these rebates are open to municipalities, as well as individuals and businesses.

Ontario Electric Car Rebate: Let Clutch help reduce your carbon footprint

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With an Electric Car From Clutch

Even though the Ontario electric car rebate is gone, don't let that deter you from reducing your carbon footprint. With impressive overall ranges, zero emissions, and many of the features you'll find on gas-powered vehicles, an electric car is still a valuable and savvy purchase, even in the used market.

Thanks to Clutch’s 210-point inspection, 90-day, 6,000-km warranty, and a 7-day money-back guarantee, you'll get peace of mind, even if the vehicle is your first electric car. And that's how you'll lend a hand in saving the planet: zero emissions, one kilometer at a time.