Tesla claims one third of iZEV rebate fund as Canadians nearly empty $300M account in just 18 months

The latest figures from the Government of Canada show the iZEV rebate is proving very popular among Canadian electric vehicle (EV) buyers.

Launched in May 2019, the iZEV program provides up to $5,000 off the price of a qualifying zero-emission vehicle with a price of up to $55,000. According to Transport Canada, more than 60,000 Canadians, both individuals and businesses, have used the program to buy a new EV since then.

Originally funded with $300 million, more than $227 million has already been paid out in the first 18 months, leaving the fund nearly empty when it was supposed to last three years.

With the huge uptake in the rebate program, Tesla vehicles account for just one third of all rebates claimed. According to a report from Blacklock’s Reporter, $72 million of the funds have gone to Tesla owners, or just 32% of the funds dispersed so far.

The next most popular automaker is Chevrolet, which accounted for $34.7M, or 15% of the rebate funds. Toyota and Hyundai were the third and fourth most popular automaker, with each taking $20M (9%) and $19.3M (8%) of the funds respectively.

iZEV automakers

Despite Tesla accounting for just one third of the rebates , critics were quick to jump on the California automaker. In the House of Commons yesterday, Conservative MP Brad Redekopp argued Tesla should be excluded from the program.

“A $55,000 vehicle would be a luxury vehicle for most Canadians. Essentially what we’re doing is subsidizing a vehicle that a wealthy person is going to buy.”

Aaron Wudrick, director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation also thought people buying a “luxury” Tesla vehicle would buy one anyway without the rebate .

“Tesla has received the most subsidies from this program, I think it’s a fair question to ask whether regular Canadian taxpayers should be subsidizing the purchase of luxury vehicles for people who are prepared to pay full price for them. I would suggest the answer is no,” he said.

What the critics fail to realize is that the Standard Range Plus (SR+) Model 3, the only Tesla (aside from the software-locked 150km Standard Range) that qualifies for the rebate, is actually cheaper than some of the competition. Take for example the Hyundai Kona EV Ultimate with an MSRP of $53,149, while the SR+ starts at $52,990.

Then of course there’s the matter of the amount of subsidies the provincial and federal governments provide to the fossil fuel industry on an annual basis. In British Columbia alone, nearly $1 billion in subsidies was provided in 2017-2018, and more than $630 million in 2018-2019.

Did you claim the iZEV rebate when purchasing your Tesla? Did it influence your decision to buy one? Let us know in the comments below.

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