The “millionaires” reference is a shot at the former Liberal government’s EV-rebate program, which was canceled soon after the Conservatives took power in 2018.
The Liberal plan, introduced by then-Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, offered incentives of up to $14,000 per vehicle. But it came under fire for including six-figure luxury cars on the list of eligible vehicles.
It’s a gaffe that Wynne’s successor, Steven Del Duca, isn’t about to repeat. On Nov. 23, Del Duca announced a pledge to bring back EV incentives if his party wins the provincial election in June.
The Liberal plan would offer rebates of up to $8,000 on electric cars and a maximum of $1,500 for installing charging infrastructure. That’s on top of the current federal subsidies of up to $5,000 per EV.
Eligible vehicles would mirror those included in the federal program, which has price caps ranging from $45,000 to $55,000.
But Ottawa appears poised to raise that ceiling. Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra told The Canadian Press in December that he wants to overhaul the federal program to more closely reflect consumer preferences.
“The vast majority of vehicles purchased today are SUVs and pickup trucks,” Alghabra said. “And while [zero-emission vehicle] options are becoming available for these segments, many of these will be priced out of the current iZEV program.”
Unless Ottawa raises price caps, upcoming electric SUVs and pickups — such as the F-150 Lightning, which carries a base price of $58,000 before the destination charge — would be excluded from iZEV rebates.
Premier Ford’s EV rebate musings could turn into policy in the not-too-distant future, certainly before the next election. And while subsidies won’t enrich “millionaires,” the premier will be looking at heftier rebates for a market that is abandoning the economy sedan.