The Government of Canada is funnelling more money into its Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) programme. An additional $73 million will be added to Transport Canada’s budget to offer purchase incentives for zero-emission vehicles until the end of March 2022, when the next federal budget is due.
The programme was originally launched in 2019, with a budget of $300 million. This pot lasted only 20 months before it was refilled last year with another $287 million. By the end of October 2021, only around $48 million was left of this funding pot. The newest investment of $73 million now takes the total funding of the iZEV program to almost $660 million since 2019.
Currently, the rules for the programme are as follows: $5,000 is available for battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles with a battery capacity of at least 15 kWh. Shorter-range plug-in hybrids with a battery capacity of less than 15 kWh are eligible for up to $2,500.
Changes may be incoming for the programme as well, as Transport Minister Omar Alghabra’s office announced plans to revisit the iZEVs program next year to make electric SUVs and pickup trucks eligible, which generally cost more than the program’s $45,000 base product cutoff point.
“We know there is more work to do to make ZEVs accessible to a larger segment of the Canadian population,” stated Alghabra’s office. “That’s why our Government is looking at how the program may be revised to better align with current consumer preferences.” Additionally, the plan is to include more provisions for used EVs: “We also know that most Canadians actually purchase their vehicles used rather than new. That is why Transport Canada continues to explore options for providing incentives for used ZEVs, which would broaden access to these cleaner vehicles for a larger portion of Canadians.”
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