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Ontario ups electric vehicles incentives

Date
12 February 2016
Ontario ups electric vehicles incentives

NEW YORK: The Canadian province of Ontario, a member of The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance, has increased incentives to buy electric vehicles (EVs) by up to CA$10,000 (US$7,150), in a move to increase the spread of this clean technology.

In addition, the government will provide further incentives for vehicles with five or more seats and a battery capacity of more than 5 kilowatt-hours.

“Ontario is showing how public vision and private ingenuity can create healthier and rewarding solutions for citizens and businesses” says Libby Ferguson, States & Regions DirectorThe Climate Group. “As a member of the States & Regions Alliance, Ontario has committed to bold climate pledges. With such initiatives, it’s demonstrating the importance of clear, ambitious policies that can unleash the opportunities of a low carbon economy.”

A GROWING MARKET

Since 2010, Ontario’s EV program has provided incentives for the purchase of 4,800 electric vehicles and about 1,100 home chargers, the government reports. Currently there are about 5,800 EVs in Ontario, which are helping the province reach its ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emission by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

“With a growing population and expanding urban regions, transportation emissions pose one of our province’s greatest challenges in achieving our ambitious greenhouse gas pollution reduction targets,” comments Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario.

“By making it easier for people to switch to an electric vehicle, we are taking an important step in our fight against climate change while ensuring our province remains productive and efficient.”

ZERO CARBON MOBILITY

During the climate negotiations in Paris last December, Ontario strengthened its Electric Vehicle Incentive Program with an investment of CA$20 million (US$14.3 million) to create a network of fast-charging public stations for EVs, while helping its citizens buy new, cleaner cars.

The new funds are an additional part of Ontario’s Green Investment Fund, which today totals CA$325million (US$232 million) and comes from the revenues of its ‘cap-and-trade’ system to curb emissions, launched last year.

“At 35%, transportation emissions are the single-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the province,” underlines Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. “That’s why reducing emissions from transportation is a vital part of Ontario’s climate change strategy.

“Supporting the shift to low- and zero-emission vehicles will help Ontarians do their part to protect the environment, build a low-carbon, innovative economy, and ensure strong communities for the future.”

Along with the economic incentives, EVs can also benefit from a free “green license plate”, which grants access to Ontario’s fast-lines – usually reserved for vehicles carrying two or more people.

ELECTRIC BUZZ

Electric vehicles are becoming more of a mainstream consumer purchase thanks to the drop in battery costs, as the amount of energy batteries can store continue to increase. Today there are 46,000 electric buses and 235 million electric two-wheelers deployed across regions adhering to the Electric Vehicle Initiative according to the International Energy Agency, with a total EV spend by governments reaching US$16 billion between 2008 and 2014.

Formula E is another example of how electric vehicles are increasingly appealing to much wider audiences and businesses. The fully-electric championship, an early member of The Climate Group’s RE100 campaign, ended last June in a spectacular two-day race in London.

“Formula E is much more than a race”, said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, in an exclusive Climate TV interview. “We want to change things in our field. We want to change the way people move around in their cars.”

According to a recent report by IDTechEx, EVs represent a U$400 billion opportunity by 2026.

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