Electric vehicle rebate among staff proposals to speed up Toronto’s target to become a carbon neutral city
A ‘carbon tax’ is among a host of proposals put forward by staff to deliver a more sustainable Toronto, including a rebate for electric car drivers that will see the city give them a windfall and also allow more for transit and other ‘green’ initiatives.
An electric vehicle rebate will cost the city $1.8 billion annually. (CBC)
The city is proposing that up to 25,000 electric vehicles be offered rebates that will help lower their pollution contributions to Toronto’s air and help them contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Toronto staff said the goal is to develop a rebate model that will be economically viable and will give electric vehicle owners and drivers in Toronto an incentive to switch from conventional gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles.
“Electric vehicle rebates are an excellent start to providing electric vehicles a financial incentive to be in the Toronto area,” said Sarah Hulme, a senior associate on staff at the city’s environment and climate division.
The rebate model would have to be approved by Toronto City Council by June and the province by October.
The city staff proposal to make electric vehicle rebates was included along with a host of other proposals for cutting emissions to try to make Toronto less reliant on imported fossil fuels.
The proposals are included in an update to the city’s Climate Change Action Plan published at City Hall Wednesday. The city will present a formal proposal to council next month.
A rebate model would be more economically efficient than a traditional tax on vehicles, said Hulme.
“Electric vehicles are less expensive to purchase than they are to operate,” Hulme told reporters.
The rebate model would be an incentive to put more electric vehicles in the vehicle fleet, which is expected to increase by an average of 35 per cent, which would add to the existing fleet of 200,000 vehicles on city roads by 2028.
The rebates could come from the vehicle owners and drivers, the city or from infrastructure investments, staff said.