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.
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:
In 2022, 8.9% of all new car registrations were zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs), which was a 38.8% year-over-year growth. If that 38.8% growth continues through 2025, Canada will easily hit its 10% goal. In fact, it’ll likely come close to the 2030 goal.
Before popping champagne and celebrating the incredible pace, a new proposal tightens the reins on car buyers and auto manufacturers. This new rule pushes the mandated share of ZEV sales to 20% by 2026, 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. Fortunately, at the current pace, Canadian car sales are still on pace to exceed the goal, just not as dramatically as they would have exceeded the previous targets. These updates are not official yet, but we expect them to be published sometime in 2023.
To help support Canada’s goals, 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 rival gas-powered vehicles.
On May 1, 2019, Transport Canada began its Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles or iZEV program. This program provides a federal point-of-sale rebate on electric car purchases or leases, including cars bought or leased online or in person.
This incentive aims to push consumers toward electric cars and help lessen the impact of climate change by lowering transportation emissions, which are the second-leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions throughout Canada.
Keep in mind that the federal electric car incentive is built into the price of the new vehicle. That means you will see the rebate amount on your actual invoice at the dealership.
The iZEV program from the federal government provides two types of incentive programs:
Other eligibility requirements for an incentive are based on the price and passenger capacity of the vehicle:
Station wagons, pickup trucks, SUVs, minivans, vans, and special-purpose vehicles must have a base MSRP of less than $60,000, but you can opt for a higher trim or more options as long as the total MSRP remains under $70,000.
Other than the topics listed above, the federal rebate program also offers many other features. These include:
One of the major hurdles of incentivizing electric car purchases is the availability of charging stations nationwide. As of February 2023, Canada has 8,726 EV charging stations and 20,423 individual charging ports. While that’s not bad, it’s not evenly distributed, as Yukon has just 15 charging stations and the Northwest Territories have just two, while more developed Quebec and Ontario have 3,434 and 2,538 charging stations, respectively.
However, Transport Canada has pledged millions of dollars to the construction of charging stations. Canada plans to add 50,000 new EV chargers through $400 million in investments and another $500 million in financing via the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
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 cancelled 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 six provinces offer electric car rebates: Quebec, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island (PEI), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
The Quebec government offers impressive incentives and a reduction in pricing for new and used electric vehicles. Unfortunately, the government abolished rebates on non-rechargeable vehicles, but the rebate program remains in place for PHEVs and BEVs. This includes the following rebates (with the federal rebate program factored in):
In addition, this rebate isn't just for individuals. It also includes businesses and municipalities.
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):
Like Quebec, these rebates are open to municipalities, individuals, and businesses.
Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) also has a ZEV purchase or lease incentive program but no programs for charger installations. What’s unique about NL’s program is that ZEVs qualify too. Its incentives are as follows:
PEI residents are eligible for a rather impressive rebate program for new and used BEV and PHEV purchases. Plus, it has an equally impressive deal on level 2 charging stations. The incentive programs are as follows:
New Brunswick’s ZEV incentive program also covers new and used vehicles and leases and purchases. It also has incentives for chargers. The incentive amounts are as follows:
Like the federal electric vehicle rebate program, New Brunswick has MSRP restrictions for its EV incentives. The EV rebate eligibility terms are as follows:
Nova Scotia rounds out our list of provinces still offering electric vehicle incentives. In this province, the incentives are as follows:
Nova Scotia also places MSRP restrictions for its rebates on new BEVs and PHEVs. The eligibility terms are as follows:
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, a used electric car is still a valuable and savvy purchase.
Thanks to Clutch’s 210-point inspection, 90-day, 6,000-km warranty, and a 10-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 kilometre at a time.