Photo: Government of Ontario
Always Read the Fine Print
When the rebates for plug-in hybrids and electric cars were first announced by the government of Ontario, there was no word on how many applicants would be accepted, and the size of the rebates was aid to be between $4,000 and $10,000 (depending on the capacity of the car's battery). But now that the tax measure is phasing in, the details are changing, and not for the better. Read on for details.Peter Gorrie of Wheels.ca writes:
First, the payments are to range from $5,000 to $8,500, depending on the size of battery in the vehicle. McGuinty's initial announcement said $4,000 and $10,000. Some carmakers wanted the lower payment increased to boost sales of vehicles with smaller batteries; the upper amount was reduced to compensate.
Second, the rebates go only to the first 10,000 applicants. The original version didn't mention a limit. The restriction means the program will cost taxpayers a maximum $85 million, instead of some undefined sum.
The change in the range of the rebates will be a slight disincentive for those who wanted to buy full EVs instead of plug-in hybrids (with smaller batteries), and the limit of 10,000 applicants probably means that only wel-off early adopters (there's bound to be close to 10k in a province of 13 million) who would have bought a plug-in car anyway will benefit from the rebate, making the whole thing ineffective at making PHEVs and EV more mainstream.
Over the years, oil has been so subsidized that it can make sense to try to push EVs (it would be even better to stop subsidizing fossil fuels and have a level playing field, but that's sadly much harder to do). But it has to be done right and in a way that actually makes it easier to the average person to buy a plug-in vehicle. This program doesn't seem to be doing that.
Via Wheels Canada
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