Canadian Electric Vehicle and Low-Emission Rebates in 2021

4 min read
Have you been considering purchasing a hybrid or an electric vehicle in 2021, maybe one of these Federal or Provincial rebates will help make your decision easier!
by

Emily MacKinnon

, Executive Assistant in
This or That
Image by HeyAuto

These days, you don't have to look very far to see the unmistakable symptoms of climate change. In the Far North, ice is disappearing. In the west, wildfire season continues to increase in ferocity. And all of it's because of the impact we humans are having on the world around us.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the government is taking steps to transition the nation to a greener way of doing things. And a big part of that effort is centred on encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles.

That makes now a great time for eco-conscious Canadians to consider purchasing a new electric vehicle. And to provide some extra motivation, the government is offering a variety of rebates and incentives that can lower the cost of doing so by quite a bit.

But the rebates and incentives you might be eligible for vary depending on which car you're considering and where you live. To help, here's a guide to help you navigate the various electric vehicle incentives available around the country. We'll cover why the rebates and incentives exist, what each province has to offer, and the vehicles that qualify for them.

The Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles Program

Back in May of 2019, the government launched the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) program. Its purpose is to encourage Canadians to replace their gasoline-powered automobiles with newer, zero-emission vehicles. The program offers direct financial incentives for individuals and tax rebates for businesses when they purchase or lease a qualifying vehicle.

The program offers two levels of incentives, which are:

  • A $5,000 point-of-sale rebate for battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, or plug-in hybrids with a battery capacity of at least 15 kWh
  • A $2,500 point-of-sale rebate for short-range plug-in hybrids with a battery capacity of less than 15 kWh

In general, the vehicle you're purchasing must have a retail price of $45,000 or less and be brand new at the time of purchase to qualify. But because there are now so many vehicle models available to consumers, the simplest way to check on a particular vehicle is to see if it's on this exhaustive list of approved vehicles.

Additional Incentives at the Province or Territory Level

The nationwide iZEV program isn't the only incentive system that may be available to you. Depending on where you live, your province or territory may offer some additional rebates or purchase assistance. They're not available everywhere, but here's what's available at the time of this writing:

British Columbia

Residents of British Columbia have access to one of the best electric vehicle rebate programs in the country. Under the program, purchasers of a qualifying battery electric vehicle (BEV) or electric vehicle (EV) receive rebates up to $3,000. On top of that, the program also offers rebates on a variety of home-based charging equipment. And that's not all.

The province also offers a companion program known as SCRAP-IT. It provides an additional $3,000 to $6,000 bonus when residents trade in a gasoline-powered vehicle in favour of a new or used EV. When you add in the nationwide rebate program, residents of British Columbia could walk away with up to $14,000 in rebates when they purchase a brand new electric vehicle to replace their current vehicle.

Quebec

Although Quebec doesn't offer any kind of trade-in incentives, it does feature one of the most generous EV purchase rebate programs in the country. Under the program, residents can receive up to an $8,000 rebate when they buy or lease a qualifying PHEV or BEV. The only major restrictions are that the vehicle must be new and cost no more than $60,000. The program even offers rebates for electric motorcycles or scooters, too. Put together with the nationwide rebate, and Quebecois can qualify for up to $13,000 in rebates on the purchase or lease of an EV.

Ontario

Ontario once offered the most generous EV rebate program in the country. Up until 2018, residents could qualify for up to $14,000 in rebates on the purchase of certain EV models. Today, however, there's only a rebate program offered by a non-profit called Plug N' Drive, which provides up to a $2,000 rebate on the trade-in of a gasoline-powered vehicle and the purchase of a qualifying used vehicle.

New Brunswick

While Ontario got busy doing away with its rebate program, New Brunswick did the opposite. It launched a rebate program meant to complement the nationwide rebate program. It offers a rebate of up to $5,000 on the purchase of a new qualifying PHEV or EV or up to $2,500 on a used model. When combined with the national program, buyers in New Brunswick can end up with as much as $10,000 in rebates on a new EV.

Nova Scotia

As of February 2021, residents of Nova Scotia also have access to a rebate program, which provides up to $3,000 back on the purchase of a qualifying BEV or PHEV. And as of July 5th, 2021, the program offers the rebate at the point of sale, making it easier for buyers to access. It boosts the total that residents can qualify for to $8,000 when combined with the national program.

Prince Edward Island

Not to be outdone by nearby Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island offers a rebate program of its own. As of April 2021, residents can qualify for a rebate of up to $5,000 on the purchase of a new or used EV. Buyers of hybrids receive a rebate of $2,500. That means PEI residents can end up with a total of $10,000 in rebates on the purchase of a new vehicle if they choose one that qualifies with both the local and national programmes.

Newfoundland & Labrador

The third maritime province, Newfoundland and Labrador, also has its own rebate program. Though not as generous as its neighbours, it provides a $2,500 incentive for residents to go electric. The program isn't endless, though. It began the year with a $500,000 budget which means it's only available to the first 200 residents that qualify for it. For those that get it, it means a $7,500 total discount off of their qualifying vehicle.

Plenty of Incentives to Buy

The good news is, the national rebate program means that every Canadian can take advantage of a significant discount on their next vehicle. All they have to do is go electric to qualify. And when combined with the many additional rebates and incentives at the provincial and territorial level, they might end up with a clean vehicle that costs significantly less than they expected. That's a good deal for them and the environment – a true win-win.

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About the author
Emily MacKinnon
, Executive Assistant
Originally from Nova Scotia, Emily has spent the last 9 years in sales and customer service. A jack of all trades. She hopes to be able to help educate and get people excited about their next car purchases through her expression in these blogs.

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