When Ottawa announced a new $5,000 federal iZEV rebate in May 2019, setting aside $300 million for the three-year program, they clearly didn’t realize how many Canadians wanted an electric vehicle.
According to data obtained by The Canadian Press, as of July 1, 2020 Canadians have depleted 75% of the allotted funds, which were supposed to last until April 30, 2022.
In the fifteen months since it began, 53,510 drivers have claimed $225 million. If that rate continues, there is only enough money to last another 5 months.
These figures continue the trend we reported on in January, when it was announced $134 million had already been claimed in the first 8 months of the rebate.
Two provinces in particular claimed the majority of the money, with British Columbia and Quebec accounting for 86% of the rebates.
If you’ve been following electric vehicle sales in Canada, those figures should come as no surprise. Both B.C. and Quebec are the only two provinces to offer an additional rebate on top of the federal rebate. As a result, B.C. is already seeing 10% of new passenger vehicle sales being electric, ahead of their provincial target of reaching that figure by 2025.
With the program getting dangerously low on funds, EV advocates are hoping Ottawa will add more money and extend the program to include both new and used electric vehicles.
A rebate of 10% on the purchase of a used electric car was mentioned by the government last fall, but has not yet been implemented.
A spokesperson for Transport Minister Marc Garneau declined to give any firm answers on if, or when the fund will be replenished.
“This specific program continues and consumers are able to make use of the incentive,” Livia Belcea said in an email to The Canadian Press. “Any changes in funding for the program would be reviewed at the appropriate time and as needed.”