Ontario's Electric Car Subsidy Will Put Up To $14,000 In Buyers' Pockets

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Ontario is supercharging its program designed to get drivers behind the wheel of an electric car, offering buyers up to $14,000 to switch away from gas-powered vehicles.

Ontario’s current subsidy, enacted in 2010, ranges from $5,000 to $8,500 per vehicle. The province is raising that to a range of $6,000 to $10,000.

On top of that, it will offer an additional $3,000 to buyers of cars with larger electric batteries, and another $1,000 to buyers of electric cars with seating for five or more, for a maximum potential subsidy of $14,000.

tesla model s performance plus
The Tesla Model S is the best-selling car in Norway, thanks in part to subsidies for electric cars. Ontario's incentive program for electric cars limits the subsidy on a Model S to $3,000. (Photo: The Huffington Post UK)

“Helping Ontarians shift to low- or zero-emissions vehicles is vital to achieving Ontario's greenhouse gas pollution reduction target of 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050,” the office of Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Electric vehicle incentives have proven effective in some other jurisdictions.

For instance, the pricey Tesla Model S, which retails in the U.S. for more than $70,000, is the best-selling car in Norway.

As the Freakonomics blog explains, that’s due not only to the fact that Norwegians are big on eco-friendliness, but also due to generous subsidies given to electric car buyers.

But Ontarians hoping to get behind the wheel of a subsidized Model S may be disappointed: For luxury cars over $75,000, the province is capping the subsidy at $3,000.

That may be in an attempt to avoid the appearance of subsidizing wealthy people’s purchases, but the downshot of it is that we likely won’t be hearing about the Model S being Ontario’s number one selling car.

The province estimates that there are 5,800 electric vehicles on Ontario’s roads at present.

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