Quebec announces $4.4 million to promote electric car industry
In a display of the belief that electric cars will play a major role in Quebec’s economy in the years to come, multiple cabinet ministers were on hand to announce a $4.4 million investment into the industry on Monday.
The money will be spent to promote research and development, design and manufacturing of electric cars in the province and will be spent over the course of five years.
Quebecers have been relatively quick to adopt electric car technology – of the 100,000 electric vehicles sold in Canada, half of those have been in Quebec.
The ministers said they are hoping to get the amount of electric cars on Quebec’s roads up to 100,000 by 2020.
Environment Minister David Heurtel said the abundance of hydro-electric power in the province is one factor in the cars’ popularity in Quebec.
“Quebecers are very familiar with electricity,” he said. “We are a hydro-electric superpower in the world. We’re the fourth largest producer in the world. I think Quebecers understand it doesn’t just make sense from an environmental standpoint to go electric but it makes sense economically. I’d rather spend $400 or $500 per year on electricity to charge my car and that money stays in Quebec rather than spend a few thousand dollars on gas and that money leaves Quebec.”
Business leaders are also encouraging the move.
Alexandre Taillefer, who runs Téo Taxi, the company with an all-electric vehicle fleet, said he would like to see companies in Quebec building electric garbage trucks and other heavy vehicles.
"Could be get a Quebec company that would specialize in that sector [they] would become a worldwide leader," said Taillefer.
Also announced was the Liberal government’s intention to introduce a law by 2018 that would force car companies in the province to make, produce and sell more electric cars.
The ministers also announced incentives for companies and individuals to purchase electric vehicles would continue: up to $8,000 for electric cars, and up to $4,000 for hybrids.