A Nissan Leaf, an electric car that produces zero tailpipe emissions, can be seen on Sparks Street in downtown Ottawa. File Photo by Mike De Souza
The Trudeau government is proposing to help subsidize the cost of buying an electric car by up to $5,000, but has declined to establish a more stringent sales mandate, opting instead for voluntary targets.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s 2019 budget, delivered March 19, proposes to spend $300 million over three years to introduce a nationwide “federal purchase incentive” of “up to $5,000” for electric vehicles or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that sell for less than $45,000.
It also proposes providing $5 million over five years for Transport Canada to “work with auto manufacturers to secure voluntary zero-emission vehicle sales targets” to make sure that supply meets demand.
The government wants to encourage more Canadians to drive zero-emission vehicles, to help improve local air quality, cut carbon pollution that contributes to climate change and reduce transportation costs for families, according to the budget tabled by Morneau, who is known to drive his own electric car.
The amount of electricity required to power an electric vehicle costs far less than the amount of gasoline required to travel the same distance. Gasoline engines, which burn a mixture of air and fuel, are also less efficient than electric motors at converting potential energy into powering the wheels. MORE