With gasoline prices surging nationwide, Canadians are rethinking their transport options. In Nova Scotia, provincial rebates are showcasing the appeal of electric vehicles, as petrol pump prices rise.
Research shows that most people thinking about going electric are being nudged towards this decision by soaring gas prices. In fact, hundreds of Nova Scotians have already benefited from a Province-wide Electric Vehicle Rebate programme. In simple terms, this program offers three generous benefits to Nova Scotia is trying to lower their transportation costs:
- $3,000 rebate on the purchase of a new electric vehicle;
- $2,000 rebate when buying a second-hand electric car;
- $500 rebate for some e-bikes.
The purpose of this initiative is to help Nova Scotians in all income brackets hop aboard this trend in transportation. To do so, it offers point-of-sale rebates on new and used electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and even pedal-assisted electric bicycles (e-bikes).
New electric vehicle purchasers qualifying for the federal Zero Emission Vehicles programme (worth up to $5,000) are also eligible for this provincial rebate.
Rethinking Transportation Costs
With gas prices in Canada hovering around an eye watering $1.70 a litre, costs are going up across the board and along all supply chains. As a result, going electric is looking increasingly attractive to companies and individuals alike.
No longer viewed as simply cool, trendy, or cutting-edge, electric vehicles are grabbing people where it counts: in their wallets. The past few months, the question asked most frequently in dealership showrooms (both virtual and bricks-and-mortar) is: “What kind of savings would I get from an electric vehicle?”
The answer has rocked some buyers back on their heels: outlays can be less than a quarter of traditional fuel costs. When maintenance savings (i.e. no oil changes for EVs) are keyed into budget spreadsheets, bottom-line differences are shocking car buyers checking out zero-emission vehicles for the first time.
Sticker Prices Approaching Parity
Although electric vehicles are still more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts, price gaps are closing, as technology progresses by leaps and bounds. Manufacturers are rapidly extending price ranges by releasing more models, while provincial and federal rebates can slash purchase prices by up to $8,000.
Eager to bridge these price gaps, the Nova Scotia administration plans to work more closely with the auto industry, getting more electric vehicles out onto the roads. Its target is for zero-emission vehicles to account for 30% of all vehicle sales in this Province by 2030.
Rebates for Charging Station Installation Costs
In addition to actively encouraging EV sales through point-of-sale rebates, Nova Scotia is also working on the other side of the zero-emissions equation: charging stations. Well aware that an entire electrification network must be set up across the entire state, it is committed to offering rebates to businesses that will help underwrite charging station installations.
Thinking beyond highway service stations, suitable power outlets and parking bays must be available across a broad range of urban venues, where people habitually spend at least half an hour (the usual charging time). The options are countless, but malls, gyms, schools, supermarkets, restaurants, and places of worship are all primary locations that must be included in these networks.
Range and Emergency Services
Once established, a densely-meshed charging network will eliminate one lingering doubt that still bothers prospective EV buyers: topping up during commutes and longer trips.
On highways, this is not really a problem, as most out-of-town service stations are located well within the 500-kilometre range of today’s EV vehicles. Many people take already half-hour breaks when they top up with gasoline, using the time to stretch their legs, snap a few photos, use the bathroom, and grab some snacks.
A more serious hurdle is roadside assistance. Even the best kept vehicles can break down (usually at the worst possible time!), and EVs are no exception to this rule. Organisations like the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) are already training their technical staff on how to help stranded EV drivers. Serious sought is also being given to recharging vehicles whose batteries have gone flat (either temporarily or permanently). At the moment, the best option is to winch a stranded EV onto a flatbed and take it to the nearest charging station.
No Turning Back from This Trend
With few signs of relief, the global energy crisis is pounding Canada’s pump prices. Although no official figures have yet been released, the number of electric vehicles on Nova Scotia’s roads has probably doubled since this EV incentive programme came into effect. That’s an impressive achievement for just twelve months of going green.