Quebec spending millions to get more electric cars on the roads
The provincial government is trying to convince Quebecers to drive electric cars.
Starting Friday, those with electric cars are allowed to drive in the carpool lanes of highways and soon, they won't have to pay tolls on Quebec roads.
Premier Philippe Couillard wants to see 90,000 more electric cars on our roads within five years, and says the government will spend $420 million to promote electric vehicles.
Most of that money will go towards giving drivers of electric cars subsidies, which range from $4,000 to $8,000.
The premier says for now, those subsidies are necessary but they will be reduced as the prices of electric cars come down.
There are currently 7,300 electric cars on Quebec’s roads. Couillard said if we get to 100,000 electric cars on the road by 2020, greenhouse gasses would be reduced by 150,000 tonnes.
“If you look at the countries that are successful at the deployment of electric cars, they all use similar methods. Take Norway. Norway has no taxes at all on electric cars. It’s the same net result,” Couillard said.
Environmentalist Steven Guilbeault said he believes aside from the money, the most important announcement was the fact that Quebec wants bring in the so-called zero-emission vehicle standard, which means they will force car manufacturers to sell a certain percentage of vehicles that don’t emit pollution at all.
The PQ was critical of the plan, saying it’s short on specifics. Their plan, they say, would go further in electrifying Quebec’s transportation network.
CAA-Quebec also expressed reservations about the plan, saying in a release that more effort will be needed to sell 20,000 electric cars per year for five years.