Ontario, Canada Boosts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program Up To $14,000 (Update)


Ontario Canada Takes New Leadership Position In The EV Incentive Game

Ontario Canada Takes New Leadership Position In The EV Incentive Game

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Announces Huge Boost To EV Program

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Announces Huge Boost To EV Program

Rest of the world, be jealous.  As part of a new Climate Change Strategy, the province of Ontario, Canada has just become an unexpected leader for offering plug-in vehicle incentives.

The new incentive program does away with the old system that paid out anywhere from $5,000 to $8,500, to a new base level of $6,000 to $10,000.

The rebate applies equally to both plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.

Some new bullet points on the program:

  • Increase the current incentive range for EVs from $5,000 – $8,500 to $6,000 – $10,000
  • Provide an opportunity to receive an additional $3,000 incentive for vehicles with larger battery capacities
  • Provide an additional $1,000 incentive for vehicles with five or more seats
  • Continue to provide incentives linked to battery capacity of more than 5 kilowatt-hours

Unlike in the US, Ontarians get rebate cheques in the mail after making a purchase (usually within a couple weeks), not just tax credits to be used against future tax liability.

Update (March 18th):  MTO has adjusted the rebate amounts to reflect the starting MSRPs of various trim levels – meaning more dollars are available the more options are picked up.  The new/complete list is available here.

Tesla Model S

Some EVs, Like The Tesla Model S Had Its Incentive Reduced To $3,000

As part of the new program, there is a “Tesla clause” to remove a large incentive on what is deemed luxury purchases.

The rebate program gives out a maximum of $3,000 for vehicles ranging from $75,000 to $150,000.  The base Model S 70D in Canada retails from $101,900 ($73,000 USD).

Models to net the greatest advantage immediately are the likes of the Nissan LEAF which retails from $32,698 ($23,500 USD), which qualifies for $9,600

The Chevrolet Volt from $40,090 ($28,700 USD) receives a massive $11,817, while the BMW i3 (both BEV and REx) somehow qualifies for $13,000.

But perhaps the most interesting proposition in conjunction with the Ontario rebate is the new Audi A3 e-tron, which has curiously just been priced lower than the Volt in Canada, at $39,200 ($27,998 USD), it receives $8,095 – despite only a 8.8 kWh battery.

Already Priced Aggressively In Canada, The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Looks Like An Even Better Deal Today

Already Priced Aggressively In Canada, The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Looks Like An Even Better Deal Today

“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. 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.” – Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

A rebate of up to $1,000 to be used against the purchase and installation of charging units for residential or commercial applications is also available.

Here is the initial list of eligible EVs.  One might notice there is some odd discrepancies between each EVs rebate amount (such as why the Volt nets so much more rebate cash than many longer range all-electric cars).  The reason for this is actually due to an incentive cap of 30%.

Says the MTO on the subject:

“The total value of the incentives cannot exceed 30% of the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). The incentive value will be calculated based on the MSRP on date of the purchase or lease.”

New Rebate Amounts For All-Electric Vehicles In Ontario (click to enlarge)

New Rebate Amounts For All-Electric Vehicles In Ontario (click to enlarge)

New Rebate Amounts For All-Electric Vehicles In Ontario (click to enlarge)

New Rebate Amounts For All-Electric Vehicles In Ontario (click to enlarge)

Ontario had originally initiated this program in 2010, and to date, had given out ~4,800 incentive rebates on plug-ins (out of ~6,000 on the road through the end of January 2016), and 1,100 residential charging units.  The “Green License Plate” program, enabling EVs to use HOV lanes remains unchanged.

Nothing Like Getting A Cheque In The Mail

Nothing like getting a cheque in the mail a few weeks after buying an electric vehicle! (old max rebate of $8,500 shown)

Full details/qualification specifics on the program will be released shortly. (Ontario.ca)

Category: General

55 responses to "Ontario, Canada Boosts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program Up To $14,000 (Update)"
  1. Exciting! Just right for Bolt and Tesla Model 3! And, $10,000 was the stated plan back in 2008, which got cut to the $8,500 amount when it came to be. So, back on track.

    1. evcarnut says:

      It’s good, but,we still have to pay the 13% Tax on the Full Gross mount of the purchase price & then we get back the 10grand ..so $10,000 X 13%is $1,300..so are actually Getting $8,700 & Not $10,000.. in CND$ which is aprox. $6200 in USD$$…could be better could be worse. Better than nothing. We’ll take it!

      1. pk says:

        3 year lease gets you the full amount though and you only pay taxes on the leased amount.
        I’m looking forward to the model 3 reveal and what Nissan has up their sleeve. Exciting times.

        1. evcarnut says:

          Good point, good to know!

    2. Edward G says:

      Premier Wynne’s announcement is a joke! Clearly they crafted either an anit-Tesla bill or just plain stupid legislation. They give a 100 kilometre range car the full $10,000 rebate (30% of the cost) but a car made in America with 4 times the range and seating for 5 adults + $3,000 (3% of the cost). Their excuse is its a luxury car ! I will be writing to her directly, my MLA directly and the Prim Minister as well. Not surprised Permier Wynn would act in such an ignorant way!

  2. lewl says:

    A minimum of 5kWh doesn’t really cut it.
    As the vehicles evolve, they need to step up the minimum requirements too.
    Vehicles like the plug in Prius have such a small effect over a regular Prius.
    The point of the incentive should be to encourage those that can actually displace a significant amount of fuel use/pollution generation.
    These are also the ones that cost more, and would need incentive to purchase.

    Also interesting that they didn’t switch to usable design capacity.
    As we know, the flaw before was volt claiming full rebate even though you could only ever use 10-11kWh.

    1. Patrick says:

      “A minimum of 5kWh doesn’t really cut it”

      My family could do 97% of our driving on electric only with a 5kwh phev. Having a larger battery is not necessarily better for the environment, thats the point in the end right.

      1. lewl says:

        Keep in mind a 5kWh battery means probably 3kWh usable. Does that change your answer?
        If no, then your family is negligible in terms of environmental effect, which is the point of the incentives.

        The effect of changing a 20k/yr commute to electric may only take 2x the battery size, but gives, say, 4x more benefit for the incentive dollars. And those are the people that need to be targeted. Very low mileage users don’t have a large effect on air pollution, it’s the daily commuters that make a difference.

        Unless you mean you’re charging several times a day in order to make use of such a tiny battery. Such a small battery which also means you cannot drive all electric all the time as the peak power output of the pack is low.

  3. Breezy says:

    It’s not really a “Tesla clause.” It’s a luxury vehicle clause and it just so happens that Tesla only makes luxury vehicles at the moment. The Model 3 will qualify.

    Other vehicles that will see their rebate capped at $3k include the Cadillac ELR and CT6 PHEV, Volvo XC90, Porsche Panamera, etc.

    I have no problem with that. After all, you’re still getting a $3000 rebate on luxury goods.

    1. james says:

      No, you are getting $3000CDN for buying an EV over gas… An Audi R8 is quite expensive, but no rebate.

      1. Breezy says:

        Yes, you’re getting a rebate because it’s a plug-in, and it’s also a luxury car. Absolutely nobody needs a 5-seat passenger car that’s more than $75k, but you’re still getting $3000. It’s a good deal.

  4. Marcel Guldemond (@marcel_g) says:

    this is good news, now if they could just get their act together with respect to having DC fast chargers along our main highways and travel routes, that would be great…

  5. Lindsay Patten says:

    It would sure would be nice if the federal government would take over offering incentives. It’s no fun living in a province with no incentives and knowing that the price has been set nationally taking the availability of incentives in some provinces into account. In fact most EVs are not even sold or serviced outside the three provinces with incentives.

  6. pk says:

    The HOV lane program still expires in June. So what’s the point in getting the Green Vehicle plate. I guess my old custom plates will go on the Leaf once the program is done.

    It doesn’t say how big the batteries have to be for the full $13k but I suspect it’s going to be over 30 kWh.

    1. lewl says:

      The green plate HOV has been extended every year. They just aren’t committing to leaving it open-ended/forever.
      It was originally due to expire in 2015. Now 2016, and probably soon extended to 2017.. etc.

      1. pk says:

        Yes, I’m keeping my fingers crossed 🙂 My commute is so much better with the HOV.

    2. Neromanceres says:

      Announcement claims the HOV access will continue but with little details.

  7. Warren says:

    Five seats…the pro-life rebate.

  8. eco Logical says:

    I hope other provinces and the Canadian federal gov’t are going to do something similar. So far there’s no incentive if you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland/Labrador, Nunavut, Yukon or NWT.

    1. Desmond Norris says:

      Of course, Alberta does not pay provincial sales tax, just the 5% federal GST, on new vehicles. So they have a fairly similar deal for ALL car purchases, new or used. Not a Green Car incentive though.

  9. Neromanceres says:

    Quote “Unlike in the US, Ontarians get rebate cheques in the mail after making a purchase (usually within a couple weeks), not just tax credits to be used against future tax liability.”

    While this is true. Another benefit is that dealers in Ontario can apply the rebate at point of sale and the dealer is allowed to apply for the rebate on the customers behalf. This allows the rebate to be worked into the financing at point of sale.

    1. Patty says:

      That’s great to hear that you can assign the rebate to the dealer directly, will save some money on % interest if you’re leasing. I just wish they wouldn’t be punishing people who need a 7 seater safe SUV for their families because of “Tesla”. What I mean where did they get this $75k number from? Many Teslas start close to $100k, don’t take away rebate from someone who wants to buy a Volvo XC90 T8 🙁 There are barely any if any PHEVs that seat 7 people that are as safe as Volvo is. Guess I know who I’m not voting for next election!

  10. mxs says:

    Who are EV friendly/educated dealers in GTA area? An incentive program is one thing, but good dealer network/repair shops is another.

  11. Lou says:

    That’s it .. I’m moving to Toronto!

  12. JimGord says:

    There appears to be some confusion and conflicting media reports of the maximum incentive actually being $14,000
    Up to $10,000 then the $3,000 and $1,000 extras, rather than the $3,000 and $1,000 extras being on top of the $6,000 base

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Yes, there does seem to be some confusion. Our take is that it appears to be $10,000.

      We know the base is $6,000 for 5 kWh cars, but I think the telling part is that (like the old system) there is extra cash for larger batteries, which the press release splits out.

      Then another $1,000 for 5 seats (basically taking some money off the table for the uber inexpensive cars – like the smart ED). Add them up – 10k. Which was the originally proposed amount under the previous Liberal administration that got reduced to $8,500.

      …otherwise, if it is an additional amount, then you have a rebate that jumps from $6k to $10k for more qualified cars (more kWh), then another 3k on top for even more qualified cars? Has to be some other qualifier in there too? On top of that, a $14k rebate threatens to make EVs essentially “free” inside leases, and they don’t want that, again unless their is another qualifier to stop that.

      Anywhoo, we will get it figured out soon. Once again this is a case of a gov’t press release coming out before the program details are ready/released (which is still listed as “coming soon”) That being said, having gone through the rebate process quite a few times already (and likely to do it some more), I’ll accept any $14,000 cheques the Ontario government wants to issue me.

      1. Breezy says:

        MTO definitely says the maximum rebate is $14,000.

        “Get money back. You will receive an incentive of up to $14,000 (based on the capacity of your new EV’s battery capacity, seating capacity and retail price). You may also receive an incentive of up to $1,000 on a new Level 2 home charging station.”


        1. Jay Cole says:

          It does certainly seem that way, (= Still waiting on the program details to understand it. Thanks Breezy

            1. Jay Cole says:

              Thanks Breezy!

              Really wish they would put out how the system works – clearly it has weight to PHEVs (maybe total range?), but it does appear it could go up to $14,000. So I’m thrilled to see that myself!

              BMW i3 (bev and rex) 22kWh battery – $13,000
              Nissan LEAF 24/30 kWh – $9,600 both trims
              A3 -etron 8.8 kWh – $8,095
              Volt all models (16,16.5,17, 18.4 kWh) – $11,877

              /nutty…will update and clarify the story, thanks for sticking with it
              //looks like i3 and Volt sales are going to take off in Canada
              ///also means that the Outlander PHEV and Pacifica Hybrid are going to net ~9,200 to ~12,800ish (respectively)

              1. Breezy says:

                They’ve published more details including the program guide. Incentives are capped at 30% of MSRP. I think that explains some of the values (although there are still some errors.)

                1. Jay Cole says:

                  Yupe, I see it…updated the story.

                  This makes sense, it was the “missing piece” we were talking about before. That a rebate of 14k would do what happened in Georgia – specifically make EVs “free”.

                  As you say, some of the numbers don’t work ie) a 2016 LEAF starts at 32,698, so it ‘should’ be $10,899 a 30 kWh SL starts at 40,548, so it should be eligible for $12,164

                  They have some bugs to work out for sure.

                  We will now have to see this in action, because the question is “who buys a base MSRP car?” especially in the case of a 30 kWH LEAF…which should be eligible then for

                2. Gabo says:

                  After contacting MTO, they do not want to explain the $9,600 incentives calculation for Nissan Leaf, even though the MSRP for Nissan Leaf SL is $40,548 and 30% from that value would be $12,164.

                  On question what should I fill into “Incentive Claim Amount” section D and I suggested couple of calculation based on MSRP, they stated:
                  “The table found on the MTO website states the rebate amounts for the vehicles
                  You do not have to complete any calculations”

                  So no help from MTO. Currently I am waiting for new Nissan leaf, but I would like to know how much incentive I can get before I commit to the down payment amount.

  13. Hangtime10 says:

    In the market now for a new car and strongly considering an EV.
    I’m hoping they get the full details out soon and of course when it’ll take affect.
    I don’t want to miss out on what could be an increased rebate.

  14. Shaft says:

    Bought my second Volt in early January and got $8500 back. Is the new offer retroactive?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Updated info: actually it appears you will get the higher of the two amounts if your purchase was between Nov 10th and Feb 9th (see quote below)

      1. Patty says:

        So if my Volvo XC90 T8 was purchased/ordered Feb. 2 then the old rebate is valid?? This is very confusing. I hope we will not lose $6,300 in rebate, that’s the reason we went for the XC90 T8! Thanks in advance,

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Hey Patty,

          No you still good to go provided the Volvo was on the old system/eligibility list…no worries about having to just take the $3k. Here is the official/print verbage (via MTO)

          “To further support the goals of Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy and promote increased EV adoption, new EVIP program parameters were developed to make EVs even more affordable and are effective as of February 10, 2016.”

          1. Patty says:

            OMG that’s great to hear, I’m glad I asked 🙂 Thanks for the reply! I know the rebate wasn’t approved yet when we purchased still being finalized) but based on battery size should be same as BMW X5 which just got on the list last month.

            1. Jay Cole says:

              More explanations on the way the rebate handles the changes – still old system for you :

              If an eligible electric vehicle was purchased/leased between November 10, 2015 and February 9, 2016 with a MSRP less than $75,000 as of the date of purchase/lease, the incentive is based upon the new February 10, 2016 incentive values. Where there is an increase between the old incentive amount and the new incentive amount, the incentive difference will be paid automatically to the EVIP incentive recipient. There will not be a need to re-apply to the program if the applicant has already submitted an application.

              If an eligible electric vehicle was purchased/leased with a MSRP equal to, or greater than $75,000 prior to February 10, 2016, the applicant will receive the incentive available at the time of purchase/lease. There will not be a need to re-apply to the program if the applicant has already submitted an application. New applications must be submitted within six months of the purchase or lease date.

              1. Patty says:

                Except the Volvo T8 is still being approved, wasn’t on the list when we bought (should be approved very soon as people are getting deliveries) but would be similar to X5s $6,346 rebate since battery is 9.2k very similar in size. I really hope I don’t lose that rebate 🙁 And starting MSRP of the T8 is $74,xxx plus so not sure if they only look at base MSRP or total with options? So confusing…. Thanks for the answers!

                1. Jay Cole says:

                  Ah, I was under the impression you had taken delivery. Unfortunately, you have an issue as the rebates are based on the actual sale/transaction date…so you are 100% on the new system.

                  The base msrp is (as you say) really close. As a rule the starting price is the one that is used (as the MTO office/system isn’t technologically savvy enough to do adjustments on MSRP then recalculate the rebate).

                  Your question will be if they add in the destination to the calculation…and that is something I can say. Your best is to just start emailing them, but the fact it is not on the initial list (and things like the Sonata PHV/Audi A3 already are) concern me to some degree.

                  1. Elmer 99 says:

                    Tesla takes 2500 at the beginning to start manufacturing the vehicle. Would that be considered the order date? Vehicle does not arrive for 3 to 4 months from that original date. So theoretically someone may have ordered a vehicle expecting an 8500 rebate and due to this change be left with a 3000 rebate because of delivery timing? Say it ain’t so…

    2. jerry diamond says:

      Yea it is retroactive to Jan 1 2016

  15. Gabo says:

    It makes no sense

    Nissan Leaf (30KWh , 5 seats) – 9600 incentives. That means the basic incentive is only 5600 (9600 – 1000 for 5 seats and 3000 for extra battery)

    BMW i3 (22KWh and 4 seats only – 13000CAD – so full 10000 and 3000 for battery – So I guess Nissan with 30KWh should get 3000 for battery too – that is why the calculation above.

    I like the incentives, but it should be transparent – otherwise I feel that BMW and Chevy has better lobbing.

    I am hopping it is mistake and Nissan Leaf should be 9600 + 3000 + 1000 = 13600

  16. Patty says:

    Also what happens if my 2017 Volvo XC90 T8 doesn’t arrive within the 6 months that you are supposed to apply for the rebate because the T8’s are back ordered like the 2016 were due to very high demand?? Can you get an extension for waiting an extra month or two?? I really hope they allow this because I have a strong feeling that my T8 will not be here within 6 months 🙁 Thx,

  17. pk says:

    from the FAQ. it would appear that the list of vehicles is wrong.

    Q1: What changes have been made to the Electric Vehicle Incentive Program?

    The Province has introduced a new, modernized Electric Vehicle Incentive Program to help reduce greenhouse gas pollution by making it easier for people to switch to an electric vehicle (EV). The new program will:

    increase the current incentive range for electric vehicles from $5,000 – $8,500 to $6,000 – $10,000

    provide incentives linked to battery capacity ranging from 5 to 16 kilowatt-hours

    provide an opportunity to receive an additional $3,000 incentive for vehicles with a battery larger than 16 kilowatt-hours

    provide an additional $1,000 for vehicles with five or more seats

    This should give the all Leaf vehicles $14,000 ????

    cap incentives for vehicles priced from $75,000 to $150,000 at $3,000

      1. Jay Cole says:

        As we mentioned in the article…the actual rebate amounts is a bit of a mystery how they are calculated, but those are the amounts as taken straight from the MTO.

        Eventually the PDF on the calculation will be released (we assume) and we can know for sure what is happening.

        1. pk says:

          Yes, it’s strange. The site says that MSRP is part of how the incentive is determined but not how exactly they get to that.

          “Note that for the incentive tables below that the values are based on information available prior to February 10, 2016.”

          Regardless, this bodes well for Bolt, model 3 and Nissan v2.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            It seems like there is a initial penalty for being a BEV and/or bonus for being a PHEV – depending on your prospective I suppose.

            Either way, there is more money on everything. On a personal note, as I’ve cycled through 8-9 plug-ins (just being so closely associated with tech) and likely into a Outlander/Pacifica/Bolt in the next 12 months or so, it makes me smile. It basically takes most of the risk/losses out of buying and flipping in and out of EVs.

            Coupled with year end clearances, discount/employee sales there will be some extreme good values to be had, as long as the program is funded.

    1. Gabo says:

      $9,600 for leaf would either mean that
      – Leaf did not receive the $3,000 incentive for battery larger than 16KWh and the $1,000 incentive for 5 seats
      – or government lowered the current incentive for Leaf from $8,500 to $5,600

      On the other hand the incentive for KIA Soul EV makes no sense either. The car is 5 seater with 27KWh – so $10,500 incentive, if we deduct the $3,000 and $1,000 we end up with $6,500.

      This is typical government – now we will for half a year try analyze what exactly they want to do here, and when and how we can apply.
      No car dealer will commit to processing the incentive, so either me as a buyer will take the risk to calculate the incentive into the financing and cover the incentives in short term on my own hoping that the incentives arrives.
      Or I just finance the full price, and when incentive arrives I will be happy that I have extra money.

      Government should understand that some of us have to or like to plan the financing – we cannot just declare “deficit” and continue with our life as nothing happened.

  18. jerry diamond says:

    Has anyone taken into account that the money given by the Provincial government will be made known to the Federal government and at the end of the year will be counted as income to your income tax which you will have to add to your income and pay taxes on. As well you are taxed on the full amount of the sale and then rebated which knocks off another 1300. This deal is not looking so great when you see all the tricks the government has up their sleeve

    1. Patty says:

      I don’t think that’s correct but I’m not 100% sure. What if you assign the rebate directly to the dealer? Then that won’t count as income but you still received the full rebate.

      I really wish they would hurry up and announce the rebate for the Volvo XC90 T8! It’s taking them foreeeeeeever lol Last time I spoke with the Ministry they said they were in discussions with Volvo about how to take advantage of the new rebate by possibly adjusting/lowering their MSRP 🙂 I really hope they do come to that agreement because so far this is the only PHEV SUV that’s a 7 seater and would not be fair to lose such a big rebate!