The number of electric and hybrid cars in the Canadian market is slowly but surely on the rise. In fact, recent years have seen a number of Canadian car manufacturers bring electric car models to market, with more to come. Policies put in place by governments and insurance companies have sought to encourage this greening of the automotive fleet.
Government Favoring Green Cars
A great example is the Electric Circuit fed by Hydro Quebec; this constitutes the first network of charging stations for electric cars in Quebec. It is now possible to charge an electric vehicle at Electric Circuit founding partners like Metro, Rona, St-Hubert BBQ and the AMT.
The Quebec government is also investing in promoting the purchase of electric cars. Since January 2012, it has been possible through the Drive Electric program to save up to $8,000 on the purchase of a hybrid or plug-in electric vehicle. This incentive is scheduled to remain in place until December 31, 2016.
The province of Ontario is currently offering an incentive of up to $8,500 on purchase or lease of an eligible electric vehicle. In B.C., motorists purchasing an electric vehicle can be eligible for a $5,000 discount through the Clean Energy Vehicle program.
Consumers’ attitudes in regards to electric cars have been evolving over the past few years, but the biggest challenge remains changing the perceptions motorists have regarding the performance capabilities of electric cars in relation to gas-engine vehicles. Nonetheless, electric cars are considered to be very safe, and fit well into the broader movement towards more eco-friendly consumption.
New Offers from Insurers
Growth in demand has led insurers to establish incentives encouraging drivers to adopt more eco-friendly habits. Here is a brief overview of some of the different bonuses and rebates offered for electric and hybrid vehicles.
- The insurance company La Capitale offers a 15% rebate on insurance rates for eligible hybrid vehicles;
- The National Bank offers a 10% rate reduction for a hybrid car. In addition, it offers additional benefits if you use public transport to commute to work;
- Desjardins offers an insurance discount that varies according to the vehicle type, for example 10% for a highly fuel-efficient car, 15% for a hybrid, and 20% for an electric car;
- La Personnelle offers similar discounts depending on the vehicle;
- TD Bank offers car insurance for green cars, with a discount applicable on any hybrid or electric car.
Whichever province you live in, if you are considering purchasing a hybrid or electric car, it is worth your while to shop around. You will find that, even with the higher sticker price of electric cars, a number of programs are in place to make going green a smart choice.