In Canada, on June 21st, 2021, the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced a new target – all light duty vehicles are to be zero emissions by the year 2035. Whereas the previous target date was 2040, the accelerated date is aggressively tackling the transportation sector which accounts for one fourth of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. And Canada is supporting this target by having already invested over $1 billion in incentive programs to encourage consumers to make the switch to electrified vehicles. So, what are these programs and how can Canadians take advantage of them?
In Canada, there are both federal incentives for all Canadians and provincial incentives in six of the ten provinces. The federal government incentives include support for the upfront costs of purchasing zero emissions vehicles through the iZEV Incentive Program. The incentive offers up to $5,000 towards both the lease and purchase of a battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell or longer-range plug-in hybrid. The details for the incentive as well as which vehicles are eligible can be found here on the Transport Canada section of the Canadian government’s website. Finally, this federal program also includes tax write offs for businesses and self-employed people.
In addition to the iZEV Incentive Program, the federal government also funds the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) designed to increase charging and hydrogen refueling stations across Canada. Instrumental in the establishment of a robust charging infrastructure,
this funding is project based focusing on charging in public places, multi-unit residential buildings, workplaces and light-duty vehicle fleets. Although the application process is closed now, it is due to reopen in early 2022.
Consumers in six Canadian provinces are also eligible for additional incentives which vary based on the province. Plug’n Drive is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles. In addition to providing basic information and related links for all of the available provincial incentives here, their website is full of useful information including a list of all available and upcoming EV models. They also have a ‘Discovery Center’ where you can test drive a range of EVs.
According to Plug’n Drive, a recent Canadian poll revealed that nearly two thirds of Canadians were not even aware there were government incentives in place. Educating consumers will play an important role in mass adoption of zero emission vehicles so that Canada can reach its newly set target by 2035.