BUSINESS
02/10/2016 03:20 EST | Updated 02/10/2016 03:59 EST

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

Part of the province's plan to reduce greenhouse pollutants.

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.

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.