The federal government has tweaked its zero-emission vehicle rebate program to cover a larger chunk of the electric vehicle (EV) market.
Under the new parameters of the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) program, battery-electric cars with a starting price up to $55,000 — and a maximum sticker price of $65,000 — qualify for a $5,000 rebate, while larger EVs like pickup trucks, minivans, and SUVs can start at up to $60,000 and max out at $70,000. Under the previous rules, all EVs had to start at $45,000 or less and were capped at $55,000.
Other changes include a $5,000 rebate for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models with 50 km or more of electric driving range. Previously, all PHEVs were capped at a $2,500 rebate. That amount remains for models with an emissions-free range below 50 km.
The notice from Transport Canada specifically calls out PHEV versions of the Ford Escape, Kia Sorento, and Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe as qualifying for the increased rebate. According to the eligibility list, the Lexus NX 450h+, Volvo V60 Recharge, Toyota RAV4 Prime, and the Canadian-made Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid also qualify for the increased PHEV rebate.
The changes to the iZEV program reflect the government’s push towards an emissions-free auto market, with a target to end the sales of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, as well as a growing EV market in particular. Pickup trucks in particular are the next frontier of electrification, with all-electric versions of the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ram 1500 on their way — the former as soon as this summer. And while the average F-150 Lightning won’t qualify for the program, with a starting price of almost $70,000, the commercial version dubbed the F-150 Lightning Pro should. It starts at $58,000 before freight and tax.
Launched in May 2019, the iZEV program has been extended to March 2025 or until funding runs out. As of April 1, 2022, there was nearly $93 million remaining in the iZEV fund, according to Transport Canada data.