Quebecers account for nearly half the sales of electric vehicles in Canada: why?
MONTREAL -- Between 70 and 75 per cent of motor vehicles sold in Canada will have to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030 if the federal government is to meet its greenhouse gas emission targets, states a report by the CD Howe Institute earlier this month.
Currently, only 3.5 per cent of vehicle sales in Canada meet this criteria.
Nevertheless, a number of provinces are making efforts to ramp up electric vehicle sales — and it seems Quebec is leading the charge.
A whopping 46 per cent of registered electric cars in Canada are in Quebec, according to the Association des véhicules électriques du Québec (AVÉQ).
The highest per-capita rate of electric vehicle registrations is in British Columbia at 8.4 per cent; Quebec follows closely behind at 6.8 per cent.
“People in Quebec pay a lot more attention to the environmental impacts of their choices and always voice their opinion positively towards making those changes to help out,” said Simon-Pierre Rioux, president of AVÉQ.
This alone doesn’t always mean Quebecers will make the most environmentally-friendly choice, he notes.
“One of the reasons why we’re starting to see this change is because people are seeing that there is a financial advantage [to] driving an electric car,” he explained.
MONEY TALKS: REBATES
To incentivize more Canadians to buy greener cars, the federal government is offering rebates on the purchase of zero-emission and hybrid vehicles:
- $5,000 for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and longer range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs);
- $2,500 for shorter range PHEVs.
Longer-range PHEVs have a higher battery capacity, meaning they can be powered by more electricity than shorter-range PHEVs.
The federal government defines longer-range hybrids as having a battery capacity of at least 15 kW/h — any capacity lower than that is considered shorter-range.
Quebec has also established provincial incentives, which can be combined with federal rebates for maximum savings:
- $8,000 for new BEVs, FCEVs and PHEVs;
- $4,000 for used BEVs and FCEVs;
- $600 for the purchase of home-charging stations.
“It’s really advantageous,” insists Rioux.
Other provinces and territories offer financial incentives as well, but none are as high as Quebec, he adds.