Car News

Ontario Charging Up Electric Vehicle Incentives

Ontario is making some big changes to their new-vehicle Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP) in an effort to help put more people in more electric cars. They are both removing the cap of 30-percent of MSRP and getting rid of the $3,000 maximum incentive on many higher priced EVs.

While EVs over $150,000 will continue to be excluded from the program, the changes will see a big impact on buyers looking at the low and high end of the market. Previously, EVs and plug-in hybrids were limited to a total rebate of 30-percent of the sticker price. That meant that cars which cost less than $46,600 couldn't get the full rebate. For example, a $33,998 Nissan Leaf only qualified for $10,199 of the $14,000 in 2016. That limit is now gone, meaning that the Leaf now qualifies for all $14,000, reducing its cost to Ontario buyers considerably.

This also affects the 2017 Smart ForTwo EV, Chevrolet Bolt, Ford Focus EV, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and more, although the exact amount of the incentive still varies based on the size of the battery and passenger capacity. In short, cheap EVs just got cheaper.

More expensive EVs, those ranging in price from $75,000 to $150,000 were previously limited to a $3,000 rebate. That restriction is now gone if they are electric only (plug-in hybrids in that price range are still limited to $3,000). So cars like the Tesla Model S and Model X now receive the full $14,000 incentive, if they list for under $150,000, which will exclude only some top-end Tesla models. That's assuming the company applies for and is accepted into the province's new Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Advancement Partnership, which all automakers must join to receive the government rebates.

If you've recently bought a plug-in vehicle in Ontario, this may help you as well, as the change is retroactive to Jan 1, 2017. It's all part of Ontario's plan to spend $100 million over five years to improve charging infrastructure and build more charging stations, making it easier to own an EV. Automakers are required to join Ontario's Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Advancement Partnership in order for their vehicles to qualify for the rebate.

The Government of Ontario has a complete list of all qualifying vehicles and incentives along with how to apply on their website.