Quebec is falling behind in its effort to put 100,000 drivers behind the wheels of electric vehicles by 2020, and the province’s EV association says more generous incentives are needed to bridge the gap.
The province offers rebates of up to C$8,000 for purchases of all-electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, or low-speed electric vehicles, compared to incentives as high as $12,000 to $14,000 in neighbouring Ontario. “Quebec’s program needs to provide at least as much, if not more,” said Richard Lemelin, vice-president of l’Association des Véhicules Électriques du Québec (AVEQ). “The current incentives aren’t high enough to ensure progression” toward the province’s goal.
So far, about 13,000 electric and hybrid vehicles have sold in Quebec, and about 90% have made use of the provincial rebate. The government has burned through about 75% of the $134 million it set aside for rebates in 2012, and “the fund could run dry within a year,” CBC reports.
Nissan EV sales rep Dany D’Anjou said the rebates haven’t been enough to draw the tens of thousands of buyers needed to hit the 2020 target. “Something’s missing,” he told CBC, and now is the time for the province to review the program. “Batteries are coming that will carry a charge for 300 kilometres,” he said. “That’s going to open the eyes of many buyers.”
Véronique Normandin, spokesperson for Energy Minister Pierre Arcand, said the government is open to beefing up the rebate. “We’re due to evaluate the Drive Electric program in terms of the target, new technologies and vehicles, the kinds of available financial aid, and the necessary incentives,” she said.