Federal electric car rebate program used up half of three-year budget in eight months

The government is considering an extension to the program

It seems that Canadians are interested in buying electric vehicles, since the government rebate program has used half of its three-year budget in eight months.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau is considering expanding the rebate program. Garneau launched the program last year, which offers up to $5,000 off the price of new electric and hybrid cars to bring their prices closer to that of a gas car.

The federal government funded the program with $300 million for three years on a first-come, first-serve basis.

On January 19th, Transport Canada stated 33,000 Canadians have received more than $134 million altogether. At a rate this rapid, the funds will likely be all used up by the end of 2020.

Although the government knew that this program would be popular, it says that the program has led to more sales than predicted.

Overall, electric vehicle sales increased by 32 percent following the launch of the rebate program.

Electric vehicles made up three percent of all car sales in 2019, which is a two percent increase from 2018. However, this is still far off from the Liberal government’s goal of having 10 percent of all vehicle sales to be electric by 2025, and 100 percent by 2040.

Source: The Canadian Press