Dave Naylor

Published: July 9, 2021

-The Western Standard


People shopping for electric cars in Canada are, for the most part, wealthy, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

In-house research by the Privy Council Office reveals most shoppers earn six-figure salaries and have university degrees.

The report said zero-emission vehicles are out of reach for many Canadians.

Asked, “Do you support or oppose the Government of Canada’s incentives to encourage Canadians to buy plug-in electric vehicles?” respondents who expressed the highest approval rating, 79%, had household incomes over $100,000 and a university education.

Findings were based on interviews with 11,000 people.

Asked, “Have you seen, read or heard anything about the Government of Canada’s incentives to encourage Canadians to buy plug-in electric vehicles?” 61% replied no. Only in Québec, where the province offers its own $8,000 rebates, did a majority of respondents say they were aware of federal subsidies. In BC, where rebates average $3,000, 41% of respondents said they knew of additional federal aid.

Cabinet in 2019 launched a program to pay $5,000 rebates to buyers of new electric vehicles priced at up to $55,000. The largest portion of rebates, a total $72.1 million, went to buyers of California-made Tesla Model 3s. Other rebates totaled $34.7 million to buyers of Chevrolets, $20.2 million for the Toyota Prius and $19.3 million for Hyundai Kona electrics.

The Commons environment committee in an April 13 report acknowledged electrics remain too pricey for most drivers citing data from Toyota Canada Inc. the price of a new conventional sedan averages $28,000 in Canada while the cost of a zero-emission vehicle averages $56,000.

“Witnesses agreed that higher battery costs were the main cause of the higher price,” said the report.

MPs noted “batteries are so costly and most are currently produced in East Asia.”

British Columbia and Québec accounted for 78% of the zero-emission vehicles sold in Canada in 2020, said the report.

The committee recommended that federal rebates be income tested.