Driving an EV Could put Cash in Your Pocket

Driving an EV could put cash in your pocket
Driving an EV could put cash in your pocket

If you’re considering buying a new vehicle, you might want to keep in mind that the Ontario government offers incentives for electric vehicle and hybrid owners. As with any incentive program, you need to qualify, so we’ve rounded up both the perks and the guidelines for the Ontario Electric Vehicle Incentive Program and the Green Plates Program.

A Brief Overview:

The Ontario government is encouraging their residents to live an environmentally sound lifestyle, especially when it comes to their cars. “Supporting the move to electric vehicles is part of the province’s plan to create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” explains the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

New, highway capable electric vehicles are eligible to receive financial incentives for purchasing an EV, for installing an EV charger in their home, and can drive with special green licence plates, giving them access to HOV lanes regardless of passenger numbers.

The goal of the program is to see one EV for every 20 vehicles on the road by 2020.

Does my car qualify?

Now that you know what perks you could receive, you’re likely wondering if you are eligible. If you have a new plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) or a battery electric vehicle (BEV) purchased or leased on or after July 1, 2010, you qualify!

Examples of these vehicles include:

  • Tesla
  • Smart Car
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Ford Energi
  • Fisker Karma
  • Nissan Leaf
  • GM Volt
  • Toyota Prius PHV

Unfortunately, conventional hybrids, low-speed EVs, hybrids converted into EVs, or electric motorcycles won’t qualify. For an entire list of ineligible vehicles, head to their website.

PHEVs or BEVs previously owned and older than 2010 might not qualify for the financial incentives but they can still apply for a green plate and enjoy a calm drive in the HOV lane.

The EV Incentive Program

Drivers who purchase qualifying PHEVs or BEVs can receive a cash rebate based on their vehicle’s range and battery capacity. The value of the incentive starts at $5,000 for a vehicle with a 4kWh battery and goes up to $8,500 for a vehicle with a 17kWh battery. If you’re leasing an EV, you might still qualify, and the amount of your rebate will be scaled to the terms of your lease.

The Charging Incentive Program

As we have mentioned before, EV owners will most likely want to install an EV charger in their home or condo building for a quicker charge than the 12-hour plug-in that the car comes with. If that’s the case, they can get some money back for the purchase of the charger and for the EV charger installation.

Make sure to keep your receipts, as these will be key in receiving 50% of the purchase and installation costs to a maximum of $1,000. It’s important to mention that people who attempt to install a charger themselves (which we would not recommend) won’t receive any money back for installation expenses apart from the cost of the charger.

At Signature Electric, we specialize in EV charger installations in Toronto, so make sure to give us a call if you would like to take advantage of this program and need a trustworthy Toronto electrician.

Next Steps

You’re ready to receive the rebate? You can apply directly to the Ministry of Finance, but make sure you do it within six months of the date that you purchase or lease your vehicle. You’ll need to provide a completed and signed incentive application form, your sales or lease agreement to prove that you bought or leased an EV, and proof that you have registered and received your licence plate in Ontario.

Green Plate Program

Along with feeling great about driving an identified green vehicle for people to admire, a green plate will also allow you to drive in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes until June 20, 2015, even if you’re the only one in the car. Just imagine driving down the 401 in the HOV lane during rush hour!

To get a green plate, you need to head to a ServiceOntario centre that handles plating. Just like getting any new plate, they will charge you $20.

We like to see people participating in greener highways rewarded, which is why we want to spread the word about these electric vehicle incentives in Ontario.

If you’re interested in learning more about electric vehicles and how they charge, download Getting to Know Electric Vehicles.

Note : Information for this post was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.


Mark Marmer started in the trade back in 1973 and established Signature Electric in 1985. Having always enjoyed tinkering with electricity and working with his hands, the electrical trade was a natural choice for him. Working as an electrician you get a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of each day.

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