Ontario may have the most generous electric vehicle incentive program in the world. Residents of Canada’s largest province can qualify for up to C$14,000 in rebates if they buy a five-passenger electric car with a battery larger than 16 kWh that has an MSRP of less than C$75,000. Now, Reuters reports that Ontario has created a new Green Commercial Vehicle Program to encourage companies to buy heavy-duty electric trucks like the Tesla Semi and BYD’s new electric trucks.
The Green Commercial Vehicle Program could provide millions of dollars of benefits to Loblaw, Ontario’s largest commercial trucking company, which has pre-ordered 25 Tesla Semis. The rebates are contingent on funding, which for the current fiscal year has been capped at $12 million (Canadian dollars). Each electric truck purchased qualifies for a rebate of up to 60% of its purchase price. For the Tesla Semi, that works out to C$75,000, which is equivalent to $59,000 in US dollars.
“Although there is no limit on the number of alternative fuel commercial motor vehicles or fuel saving devices that an applicant may apply for, payment of incentives will be subject to the availability of funds and GCVP policy objectives, which may change over time,” a spokesperson for the Canadian Ministry of Transport tells The Drive.
The rebate is designed to do more than help get more electric trucks with zero tailpipe emissions on Ontario highways. It is also designed to attract electric vehicle manufacturers and parts suppliers to Ontario, which has lost much of its auto and truck manufacturing base to lower cost locations such as Mexico and the southern US states in recent years.
Ontario has set ambitious carbon reduction goals for itself. It plans to lower emissions by 15% below 1990 levels by the year 2020, 37% by 2030, and 80% by 2050. Encouraging the use of more electric vehicles on its roads will play a major role in meeting those goals.
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