Canada must increase incentives and charging capacity to meet EV goals: industry groups – National |

Canadian governments need to increase incentives and increase the amount of charging infrastructure in the country to meet Ottawa’s electric vehicle (EV) targets, industry groups say.

The federal government has committed to requiring that at least 20% of new passenger vehicles sold in Canada be zero-emission vehicles by 2026. This percentage will increase to at least 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.

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Analysis released Friday by the Automobile Dealers Association of Canada, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association and Global Automakers of Canada shows that Canada is not providing consumers with adequate buying incentives to switch to EVs, and that nearly 1.7 million EV chargers are short of what is needed to power an increasingly electrified vehicle fleet.

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“We are fully committed to electrifying the fleet and… decarbonizing our industry.… This transition is happening, but it may be happening in some ways faster than the industry thought it was going to happen,” David Adams, president and CEO of Global Automakers of Canada, said at a news conference Friday.

“We want to work with the government and we want to work with other industry partners, but we have to make sure that those goals are realistic and that at the end of the day we achieve the real goal, which is to reduce the carbon emissions from transport.

The incentives are insufficient, the group finds

Canadian governments must agree on incentives designed for new EV purchases in Canada, the groups say.

Currently, the federal government is offering up to $5,000 towards the purchase of any new electric vehicle in the country. Additionally, provinces like British Columbia and Quebec are offering up to $3,000 and $8,000, respectively, towards the purchase of a new EV. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Yukon also offer similar incentives.

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Ontario, which offered a rebate until Premier Doug Ford canned it in 2018, is offering up to $1,000 in incentives for buying a used electric vehicle and up to $1,000 for scrapping an old gas-powered car.

Other jurisdictions in Canada don’t offer incentives for new electric vehicles, which is a problem, said Brian Kingston, president and CEO of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association.

“Your maximum amount available … is $5,000, and that’s just not going to reduce it,” he said.

“Canadians are facing an affordability crisis (currently). We need to help them go electric and accept the incentives of the most powerful tool available. »

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During the analysis, the group compared Canada’s federal and provincial programs with the new US federal electric vehicle incentive and California’s initiative. These combined programs offer up to $12,200 in incentives for the purchase of a new electric vehicle, the groups said.

Kingston suggests that provinces set up their own rebate programs or, if they object, offer a tax credit like the United States does with its federal tax credit of up to $7,500.

“The industry is not asking for incentives forever,” Adams said.

“At some point there will be price parity; given the current environment, that price parity point has been pushed back a bit further simply because of the inflationary impact on vehicle prices right now.

More public charging stations are also needed

Electric vehicle charging stations are becoming more common in Canadian public spaces, but there’s still a lot of work to do, Kingston said.

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Currently, the groups have calculated that Canada has 16,242 public charging stations for electric vehicles. If 50% of cars in Canada were fully electric, the country would need 1,676,580 chargers to power them.

“You can double those numbers to get an idea of ​​what we’ll need over the next decade if we’re going to be able to power a fully electrified vehicle fleet,” Kingston said.

“It sets aside the whole discussion of multi-unit residential buildings and (parking) garages. We will also have to help these Canadians with the possibility of charging at home. »

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On Thursday, the federal government announced $4 million in funding to help install 680 EV charging stations in Quebec by March 31, 2024. They will be placed in public places, in residential buildings in multiple dwellings, on streets, in workplaces or in light vehicle fleet maintenance facilities.

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Since 2015, Canada has invested $1 billion to make electric vehicles more affordable and chargers more accessible. So far, his investments will result in more than 25,000 new charging stations across the country, he said in the June 23 press release. Ottawa’s goal is to help fund 50,000 new charging stations in Canada by 2026.

Ottawa’s 2022 budget proposes to invest an additional $400 million in EV infrastructure through March 2027, and nearly $1.7 billion to extend and expand its incentive program through March 2025. Infrastructure Bank will also provide $500 million for large-scale EV charging and refueling. Infrastructure.

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Ontario announced earlier this year that it would invest $91 million to install electric vehicle charging stations at highway rest areas, carpool parking lots, parks and arenas, a first for the provincial Progressive Conservative government.

Canada’s EV plan is “extremely ambitious,” federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told The Canadian Press last month.

“If we have to do more, of course we’re going to do more,” he said, but added that Ottawa has no intention of staying in the charging station business long term.

“Ultimately the plan is to build it up in such a way that we get to the point where it’s a business, where you can make money.”

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Interest in electric vehicles growing despite high inflation: survey

The Canadian economy is struggling with high inflation, with the consumer price index hitting 7.7% in May, fueled by soaring gasoline prices.

That’s the highest in nearly 40 years, but a poll released this week showed that despite rising costs, interest in electric vehicles in Canada is at its highest yet.

Forty-six percent of respondents to Ernst and Young’s Mobility Consumer Index plan to buy an electric vehicle, up from 11 percent in 2021. Eighty percent of respondents said they would pay a premium for these vehicles, and two-thirds of consumers would be willing to pay up to 20% more than for a regular car.

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Battery electric vehicles have been on the rise in Canada for years, with 58,726 new vehicles registered last year, up from 39,036 in 2020, according to Statistics Canada data. In 2017, only 9,079 new battery electric vehicles were registered in Canada. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have also grown in popularity, the data shows.

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Despite high inflation and supply chain issues, it’s no surprise that interest in electric vehicles is high in Canada, especially as fuel prices are at record highs, Dimitry said. Anastakis, professor of history at the Rotman School of Management.

“Over the next 10 years, virtually everyone who buys a vehicle will be faced with this fundamental question: will I get a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine or will I get an electric vehicle?” he told Global News.

“The future is here when it comes to electric vehicles. You can see it on the road, and it’s really something that’s kind of a revolution that we’re living in.

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Canada’s electric vehicle network will take time to really take shape, he added. So far, Canadians have learned about industry news, including investments in the country’s manufacturing network to create a market for electric vehicles.

For example, last month Ottawa and Ontario announced a combined $1 billion investment to help automaker Stellantis retool and upgrade its Brampton and Windsor plants for electric vehicle production.

In March, Honda announced plans to pivot production at its plant in Alliston, Ont., to help make hybrid-electric cars.

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There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered about electric vehicles, like how long their life cycle will be and how the power grid will adapt, Anastakis said.

But for the moment, “so far so good”.

“There’s going to be a lot of bumps in the road, but it’s going to be amazing when you look back on it because for most of the 20th century and much of the 21st nobody thought it could really happen the way it is. pass,” he said.

“And it’s happening.”

— with files from The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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