In a bid to spur sales of electric vehicles, the Ontario government announced plans to increase the maximum incentive for EV purchases to $14,000 from $8,500.
Helping Ontarians shift to low- or zero-emissions vehicles was vital to achieving Ontario’s greenhouse gas pollution reduction target of 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050, Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a statement.
As well, the minimum rebate will increase by $1,000 to $6,000.
The province’s first Electric Vehicle Incentive Program was launched in 2010 and provided incentives for the purchase of 4,800 electric vehicles and about 1,100 home chargers, according to the government.
The move could benefit sales of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan which will also be available as a plug-in hybrid model. It is expected to arrive in dealer showrooms later this year.
However, auto industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers dismissed the move as another “failed attempt” to get consumer to buy electric vehicles.
“What the government has to realize is if you offer a subsidy, by definition you’re into an area where the technology has failed,” said DesRosiers. “If these vehicles can’t sell on their own, they’ll never be successful. And it may spur sales in the near term but it does nothing to fundamentally change the equation.”
Instead, governments should offer incentives to encourage new vehicle purchases, said DesRosiers. “What they need to do is get consumers to buy any new vehicle. The average new vehicle on a car lot today is 50% more fuel efficient than any vehicle over 10 years old. There are 10 million vehicles over 10 years old on the road today.”
The province also announced in December plans to spend $20 million toward the installation of fast-charging public EV charging stations to support city-to-city and in-city EV travel across the province.