Ontario has set tepid goals for the electric vehicle market - 1 in 20 new vehicles sold being electric by 2020 and 12% by 2025. Despite the lack of optimism in EV adoption rates from the government, the overall picture in this new 5 year plan is very good and may in fact propel the market far beyond their predictions by 2025. Here are the key points from the plan which was officially released today:
1) Maintain incentives for electric vehicles
2) Eliminate HST on zero emission vehicles
3) Free overnight electric vehicle charging
4) Replace older vehicles
5) More charging stations
6) Electric and hydrogen advancement program
7) Increase public awareness
Maintain Incentives for Electric Vehicles
This is the most important item on the list for EV adoption. The current incentive program is very good for prospective electric vehicles buyers as it reduces the capital costs of an EV to that of a comparable combustion vehicle. Although there isstill room to improve the EV incentive programthe government made a clear commitment to continue to provide financial support to those interested in an electric vehicle.
Additional cash incentives
The elimination of sales tax is an approach others have taken such as Norway, who have had great success in promoting electric vehicles. On a $40,000 car at 13% that's over $5,000 in savings. Now add in the free charging for 90% of your driving needs by charging at home overnight and you have a vehicle which almost costs nothing in routine maintenance. This vehicle which should cost you about $45,000, is instead costing you $28,000.
The remainder of the plan is important for gaining mass adoption of electric vehicles, and helping the development of future tech. This plan really shows that the Ontario government is serious about developing an EV market. Between this plan and the vehicles from General Motors and Tesla that are set to release by the end of the year, Ontario should prepare itself for the real beginning of the electric vehicle era.