One out of every 20 vehicles driven in Ontario, Canada will be electrically powered by 2020 if the huge incentives proposed by the provincial government are effective in forcing the market to favor electric vehicles.
The government of Premier Dalton McGuinty said in a statement that “Expanding the use of electric vehicles by consumers and government will help create and sustain jobs in the auto sector and put Ontario at the forefront of the new, green economy in North America.”
The plan, just announced today, would favor buyers of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles with rebates of up to $10,000 paid for by taxpayers for vehicles purchased after July 1, 2010.
The maximum rebate appears to be among the highest, if not the highest, ever offered by a government to subsidize electric vehicles. It was not immediately clear how popular the plan will be among voters.
Nonetheless, the proposed Ontario plan continues a global trend that sees taxpayers’ money being shifted to help small numbers of relatively affluent vehicle buyers in the name of reducing greenhouse gases and combating global warming.
A clear beneficiary of the new policy is Japanese-owned Lexus, which has a plant in Ontario. A hybrid version of its best selling RX350, the RX450h, will enter production this fall at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC), which also builds the Corolla and Matrix models.
Toyota and Honda with their growing list of hybrid models will also benefit from the subsidies.