Posted on November 11, 2016
How Much Rebate Would it Take to Make You Buy an Electric Vehicle?
The story of pushing consumers to adopt the electric vehicle reads a little bit like a bribe. If you had an old car and you knew you needed a new one, how much money would you have to be offered to purchase an electric vehicle? Even with several electric car incentives having occurred in Ontario, drivers aren’t as interested in buying an electric vehicle as much you might assume.
First in 2009 the Canadian government introduced a program that wanted to get high-polluting older vehicles off the road, called Retire Your Ride. With great success, a totally 120,000 vehicles were retired from the road by the time the federal program ended in 2011.
Car manufacturers followed that up by adding more incentives consumers were purchasing new car directly off their lots. The program was very strict, and to qualify for the $300 rebate your car had to be older than a 1995 make, be insured for the most recent six months, and be driveable. As well as cash, the rebate was offered in the form of a bus pass or discounts on a bicycle. This program met with much less success, even though the general public indicated they really did want to do something that would help the environment.
Then the car manufacturers asked the government for more of a commitment, suggesting there be a rebate program that would pay consumers $3,000 rather than the $300 that had been paid previously. Many consumers were cynical about this, feeling that whether it was in the form of taxes or car prices, they’d be paying for the rebate themselves anyway.
Now the latest news is that the Ontario government is starting up a new “cash for clunker” program alongside the many proposed environmental changes they have introduced, where cash would be awarded to buyers of hybrid or electric vehicles.
It is Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP) that’s getting the most attention now, and it’s essentially paying drivers to drive more electric cars. Current rebate amounts vary from a lot to a little: while a Porsche or Tesla electric vehicle purchase will give drivers a $3,000 rebate, a BMW i3 PHEV gives $13,000 in a rebate, and a Ford Focus EV purchase gives drivers a $10,635 rebate.
How much would you have to be offered in order for you to buy an electric vehicle?