The Ontario Liberals have pledged to bring back an incentive program that would give electric vehicle buyers up to $8,000 off the sticker price of eligible EVs.
Provincial Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said the program would apply to EVs worth up to $60,000 and offer varying levels of support for both purchases and leases. It would also bundle in up to $1,500 for consumers buying charging equipment.
“Creating a new electric vehicle incentive program is a win-win for Ontario families,” Del Duca said in a release. “It will advance the fight against climate change, create good paying jobs and deliver needed pocketbook relief.”
The program is a rejigged version of Ontario’s previous EV incentive that offered up to $14,000 to EV buyers, but was cancelled by the Conservative government in 2018. Del Duca said the eligibility criteria for the incentive would mirror that of the federal iZEV program, which offers up to $5,000 for buyers who opt for zero-emission vehicles.
The campaign-style pledge puts the provincial Liberals in opposition to the Conservatives, who have continually rebuffed calls to resurrect the EV incentive. When introducing the next phase of the province’s EV roadmap last week, Premier Doug Ford reiterated support for his government’s approach of funding EV manufacturers as opposed to consumers.
Both the Ontario Green and New Democratic parties have also recently backed reintroducing a provincial EV incentive that would realign Ontario with other leading jurisdictions.
EV incentives of up to $3,000 in B.C. and up to $8,000 in Quebec have put both provinces well ahead on EV adoption. Last year, for instance, ZEVs made up 8.4 per cent of the new light-duty vehicles registered in B.C., and 6.8 per cent of those registered in Quebec. In Ontario, EVs accounted for just 1.8 per cent of new light-duty registrations, according to Statistics Canada.
Coupled with the consumer EV incentives, Del Duca said the Ontario Liberals, if elected, would introduce a 30 per cent subsidy for new charging infrastructure on city streets, apartment buildings, workplaces and transit hubs in the province.
The next Ontario election must be held by June 2, 2022, though an early dissolution of the province’s legislature could push up the timeline.