Government rebates given to those purchasing more expensive electric cars only benefits those wealthy enough to be able to afford an electric car in the first place. There is a better and cheaper way for the government to promote and assist more people towards electric vehicle ownership, especially those that would not be able to afford an EV purchase otherwise.
I believe that the government should save the $5,000 it is gifting to wealthier individuals in EV purchases, and instead use that $5,000 to cover the interest on many government secured low interest loans to everyone purchasing an electric vehicle, for amounts above the first $20,000. Many individuals can only afford to finance around $20,000, which currently limits these folks to buying only gasoline fuelled internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. ICE vehicles are initially cheaper to purchase but cost much more to operate than electric vehicles. The cost to drive an EV is about 20% that of moving an ICE car the same distance. People commuting from our area to the GTA would be saving about $400 month in fuel, and maintenance costs for an EV are also much cheaper.
A buyers monthly savings through an EV vs ICE vehicle ownership would repay the government secured interest free loan used to upscale to the EV, while the purchasers regular loan on the first $20,000 would be as is the current financing practice if a regular ICE vehicle had been purchased. After the loans are both paid off simultaneously over 5 years, the purchaser will have an electric car paid off, without the government being on the hook for anything more than covering the interest on the loan amount they secured above the first $20,000. During the loan repayments, it wouldn’t cost the purchaser more over-all than what it would be costing them to purchase the more expensive to operate gasoline powered car. The government carrying the interest cost and securing the loan is much cheaper than giving away $5,000. This same amount could be spread over many loans to help more people purchase electric vehicles. This also helps more people reduce their carbon foot print and save more money after the loans are repaid.
Having everyone pay for their own vehicles is a fiscally conservative approach, while bridging the purchase so the not as wealthy can take advantage of EV operating cost savings to buy the car, is very progressive. This is what makes those aligned with the Green Party different. We can not be easily pigeon-holed as left or right, when offering solutions that represent the interests and leanings of both political sides.
I shared this idea with our current Kitchener South – Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara and he liked the idea a lot. I hope that he is able to get some traction on this with his Liberal peers and implement a program that will actually help the average person and not just keep giving money away to those with already thicker wallets.
Pictured above is the 2020 GM Bolt EV, which is a popular choice and competitor to the infamous Tesla models. For a complete list of EVs available to Canadians this year, check out the CAA link here.