Quebec phase out of EV rebates called ‘a step backward’

by | Mar 14, 2024 | 0 comments

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In its 2024 budget announcement, the Government of Quebec announced the phase out of EV incentives by 2027, drawing immediate criticism.

The province currently has among the richest incentives in Canada, offering buyers $7000 toward the purchase of a BEV, and up to $5000 for plug-in hybrid vehicles. This will now be phased out.

Maximum subsidy will drop on fully electric or fuel cell vehicles, to $4,000 as of Jan. 1, 2025, to $2,000 on Jan. 1, 2026, and disappear entirely on Jan. 1, 2027.

Similarly, plug-in hybrids will see their incentive drop to $2000 for 2025, and $1,000 for 2026, before dropping to zero on January 1, 2027.

The program, including charger installation rebates, cost in the region of $250 million in 2023, an expenditure that was judged unsupportable over the long term as the Quebec government looks to reign in expenses across the board.

The Budget section on EVs reads:

The electric vehicle market is maturing, so much so that, in the third quarter of 2023, more than one in five new vehicles sold in Québec were electric. Today, there are more than 240 000 electric vehicles on Québec roads.
In light of this, the government is announcing that the maximum rebates for the purchase of an electric vehicle will be as follows starting on January 1, 2025:
— $4 000 for new fully electric or fuel cell vehicles and $2 000 for new plug-in hybrid vehicles costing less than $65 000;
— $2 000 for used fully electric vehicles and $1 000 for electric motorcycles.

Rebates for the purchase of an electric vehicle will be reduced gradually and will stop being offered on vehicles registered on or after January 1, 2027.16 These vehicles also continue to be eligible for the federal government’s $5 000 rebate until March 31, 2025, or until the funds run out.

The funds released will be used to fight climate change. In addition, the government will continue to invest in the electrification of transportation, targeting in particular the measures in Québec’s Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy, such as rebates for charging stations.

While the Quebec government position is that the EV adoptions now has sufficicient momentum to be weaned from the subsidies, the move has still raised the ire of car dealer groups and EV proponents.

“It will slow adoption, so we might not meet the targets that had been set by the government. As well, we’re worried about the issue of vehicle affordability, removing these incentives will ultimately make buying vehicles more expensive for Quebecers,” Sam Yue Chi, president and CEO of the Corporation des concessionnaires d’automobiles, the Quebec dealer association, told the Montreal Gazette. “It’s bad news.”

A statement from the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association calls it “a step backwards” that signals helping consumers take part in its “restrictive, mandatory ZEV standard . . is no longer a priority.”

“Removing these incentives could significantly slow down the progress Quebecers have made so far in adopting electric vehicles. The data also demonstrates that the fundamental reason behind Quebec’s success in this transition to electric is the usage of this aggressive and comprehensive incentive program. The two best-performing provinces – Quebec and British Columbia – are also the only ones to offer greater financial incentives than those proposed by the federal government.

“The government rationale behind this decision also appears to be flawed. While Minister Girard has indicated that the price differential between electric and ICE vehicles is now marginal, impact assessments conducted and adopted by the federal and Californian governments have shown that price parity will not be achieved at least until 2033.”


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