By on March 28, 2012

Ontario’s 2012 budget was released this morning, and while the United States under the Obama administration seems intent on boosting subsidies for alternative fuel vehicles, including EVs, those in the Great White North’s most populous province are able to see the writing on the wall with regards to EVs.

Two programs, designed to encourage EV charging station infrastructure and provide generous tax rebates to EV owners (as much as $8,500 for vehicles with a 20 kWh battery like the Fisker Karma) are being merged. Despite the provinces vision to have one out of every 20 vehicles on the road in 2020 powered by electricty, only 200 grants have been handed out under the Electric Vehicle Incentive Program and only six charging stations have been built. That’s in a province with an estimated 7,000,000 vehicles on the road, and a far cry from the projected 350,000 EVs that were supposed to be on the road in 8 years time.

Details of the merger are murky, but the move is expected to save $43 million dollars for the cash strapped province over three years, but the news merited only a brief blurb in the addendum to the 2012 budget.

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32 Comments on “Ontario Cutting Electric Vehicle Subsidies, $43 Million In Savings Expected...”


  • avatar
    tparkit

    Any cut is good, but $43 million is such a tiny portion of Ontario’s green energy boondoggle that it feels like a political headfake by a spendthrift government pretending to be fiscally responsible.

    For more on Ontario’s energy disaster, try these articles:

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/author/parkergallant/

    • 0 avatar

      I’d rather not give myself an aneurysm.

    • 0 avatar

      You expect the Financial Post to deliver a balanced perspective?? I mean, they are respectable, but also reliably anti-McGuinty.

      • 0 avatar
        CanuckGreg

        Is there anyone left alive that isn’t anti-McGuinty? If you wanted to start a religion based on terrible Canadian premiers, he’d be the Pope. Look up “lying, arrogant douchenozzle” in the dictionary and the entry is just a picture of him. Thanks to his incompetence, his love of throwing money at public sector unions, and his astoundingly incomprehensible pursuit of the notion that we should be powering our homes and business with electricity generated from unicorn farts, Ontario is now economically wrecked for at least an entire generation, and maybe longer.

        In 10 years time, the west-bound lanes of the trans-Canada highway will be worn down to bedrock by the countless cars full of Ontarians moving to Saskatchewan or Alberta to find decent jobs.

      • 0 avatar

        Someone is feeling a bit dramatic. First of all, elements of his green initiatives were good, and attempting to establish a green economy (which has been extremely successful in Europe) was good in theory, if not as good in practice. And since when does non-coal resources, aka nuclear, wind and sun = unicorn farts? It’s not like these are mythical sources of energy.

        McGuinty’s troubles pale in comparison to the mess that Harris created, and Ontario’s economic issues were decades in the making, not since 2003. Ontario may be “wrecked” for some manufacturing jobs, but “wrecked” in general it is not. In fact, the value of Ontario still lies in the fact that it doesn’t rely on natural resources for its jobs, while Alberta does, speaking of unsustainable economic ventures.

        And really, do you have any suggestions on who might have been better? Hudak has not given a single solid reason to sensibly vote for him, unless you are magnetically drawn to people who say “Ontario families” every two sentences.

      • 0 avatar
        tparkit

        Nice try, Echid. Green energy in Europe is a disaster, and one of the key reasons the economy across the continent is tanking.

        Germany
        http://toryaardvark.com/2012/01/30/germany-renewable-energy-is-destroying-the-economy/

        http://toryaardvark.com/2012/01/19/solar-germanys-e100-billion-money-pit/

        Spain
        http://www.troymedia.com/blog/2010/05/30/spanish-government-admits-its-green-strategy-economic-disaster/

        Denmark
        http://www.ozclimatesense.com/2010/07/denmarks-wind-turbines-dangerous-amount.html

        UK
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2111303/Wind-turbines-Green-energy-cost-120billion-2020-say-researchers.html

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2088112/Plans-green-energy-drive-cost-families-400-year-2020.html

        But, green energy has been good political theatre; for a decade it has helped Europe’s statist technocrats and their antidemocratic allies in the unions, Brussels octopus, and socialist parties hold power. They needed the Big Lie of global warming to do it, though, and now that fraud is melting down. It’s getting harder and harder to run the greenscam, especially in a world that can no longer afford to fool itself or destroy what remains of a decreasing number of productive jobs.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m sorry, toryaardvark.com? Why did you even bother posting an article from there. At least the daily is somewhat more trustworthy, but only slightly. These articles positively stink of conservative anti-change perspectives, is the daily really falling back on the old “ordinary families” line? You would rather us deal with the well-researched and extremely bad affects of coal instead? By all means then, move to China.

        And I’m not going to even touch the “fraud” of global warming. Your description of it, along with the articles you’ve provided, mean you can’t possibly have a balanced or realistic perspective on the issue. Maybe I can’t either, but at least I’ll admit that.

        And besides, I was referring less to Ontario’s implementation of green energy than to its production and economy relating to it. There is a very clear line between the two. One is about creating jobs, etc., where parts of Europe have made a fortune selling this stuff to China, and the other is about Ontario spending loads to actually use this stuff. The two are not necessarily the same thing.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    predictable for a few reasons:

    1. canadians are smarter then fat americans.
    2. batteries perform terrible in the cold north.

  • avatar
    86er

    From the CBC: “The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit will change. The plan gives residential, farm and small business users a benefit equal to 10 per cent of their electricity bill. The province will bring in a 3,000-kilowatt hour cap on OECB payments. This will save an estimated $470 million over three years.”

    Looks like they’re throwing out all the “frills” in a desperate attempt to maintain their credit rating.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    They even allowed these green-plated vehicles to be single occupant in the HOV lanes around Toronto. Nope, no takers. I travel in the HOV lanes with the better half, but am yet to see a single Green Plate.

    What a fail, but this pittance saved is weak tea from a provincial govt who’ve taken an economic power house (Ontario) to a basket case in just a few years.

    • 0 avatar
      jjster6

      Where in TO are there HOV lanes? I’m not calling you a liar, and I don’t live in Toronto, but I’ve been there plenty of times and have never seen a HOV lane.

      Canadians (and Ontarians) may not be as fat as US Citizens but they are far dumber. No one in the US would vote for that turd Dalton McGuinty (Premier of Ontario). He makes ALGORE seem like a genius!!!

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I think you’d see more Green Plate takes if the requirement for the HOV lanes was a little stricter. Two people is kind of weak; 3 people or >50% occupancy would have been a better threshold.

      And the McGuinty Liberals aren’t really that bad (or that good, but I vote New Democrat, so…). They’re not that great, either, but they’re pretty much indistinguishable from the Harris Conservatives based on what they actually do. I would have said they were a little kinder and gentler, but they more than had their Ipperwash moment at the G20 Summit.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @psar….On a car note, we paid with our taxes for Harris to build us a toll road. Fair enough “user pay” I can live with that.

        Its when he sold it, so he could balance the books,that really spun me the wrong way.

        Oh yeah, and the Liberals didn’t manage to kill anyone at the G20.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I live in the east end of the Greater Toronto Area. I’m on the road going somewhere almost every day.

    I’m a car guy,and as such,take note of what I see on the road. To date I’ve seen three Volts. A few,but not a lot of Prius {what is the plural?} I have never seen a “Leaf”. Quite a few of the Fiat 500.

    With Ontario broke,and going broker we don’t need to throw money at something that very few will ever use.

    @ johnhowington….Has anybody ever tested a fully electic vehicle in one of our normal winters?

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “Prius {what is the plural?}”

      According to Toyota, the official plural is “Prii.”

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      @mikey: I’ve seen two Leafs, both in downtown Toronto. I don’t think you’ll see many outside of those environments, or at least not until GO Transit starts implementing charging stations in their parking lots.

      I don’t mind this in principle, but I really think there’s better ways to spend this money to achieve similar effects. Better transit within Toronto comes immediately to mind, as does wind power or expansion of the Sir Adam Beck facility, or improving smart meters to the point where they can manage household appliances.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve seen Leafs and Volts and many many many many Prii. But I agree on the transportation issue, it is really what is central, especially given DT Toronto’s nuts housing market.

        I must say though: as a fan of renewables, wind generation is a no go in Ontario. The rich folk along the lakeshore don’t want them to go where they make sense…in the lakes. The farmers agree to them willy-nilly and screw over their neighbours, and (when on land) they produce too much energy when we don’t need it (winter), forcing us to pay Quebec to take it, and they produce too little energy when we actually DO need it (the summer), forcing us to use fossil fuel-run generators to keep them moving because the wingspan is so big and they will warp otherwise. If they were smaller? Might solve a lot of issues. But solar remains viable.

  • avatar
    lw

    Silly Canadians, your being hosed eh….

    They set aside $43M but it wasn’t used. Some politician wants $43M to study the effects of sunspots on canine breast implants because his brother needs a job, has a dog and is good at staring at female chests.

    So you kill this subsidy and slide the money to your “pet project”. Then you float a press release to tout how awesome you are at saving taxpayer dollars.

    Declare a victory when the government actually spends $43M LESS.

    Full disclosure: I’m a fat American so I’m an expert in being screwed by a government.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Maybe the merger of the two programs eliminates the public charger portion, but still provides a subsidy for an EV (and possibly its charger) to homeowners.

    I would suppose it’s harder to guess where EVs will travel to each day, but they always end up at home. Therefore, it would make more sense to offer subsidies only for EV buyers.

    If my guess is correct, then a prospective EV buyer won’t be able to hope for a subsidized charger near his workplace, and therefore may not purchase an EV for a round-trip commute that’s longer than the EV’s range.

    I would actually consider a Leaf as a next car, but I also don’t expect to see many public charging stations except at my local Nissan dealer (now a requirement for Nissan dealers).

  • avatar
    claytori

    There are already “public chargers” everywhere in Ontario from Sudbury north. They weren’t put there for that reason. They were for the engine block heaters.

  • avatar
    musiccitymafia

    “expected to save $43 million dollars … over three years”

    This move will not save a dime but rather cost a lot of money. Since EV’s are not selling no-one was drawing against the program. Now that it’s cancelled the funds can be spent somewhere else.

  • avatar
    wsn

    All the “green” programs are intended to give politicians’ friends contracts. If they are really for green, there is always the easy way of increasing petro tax and use the money to pay down debt or reduce income tax.

  • avatar
    400 N

    Having suffered through Harris in the ’90s, it’ll be a cold day in hell before I vote Tory again. Every time we drive on the 407, and pay the extorniate toll fees, it’s another reason not to. (the Harris Conservative government sold it off for pennies to a toll road after it was constructed for billions at public expense. It now costs a fortune to drive on.)

  • avatar
    mikey

    I make a point of not using the 407. Sometimes I don’t have a choice.

    I do however, have a choice at the voting booth. I was one of the fools that voted Harris in.

    Never again.

  • avatar
    Mike Kelley

    Here in the US, our government will soon be too broke to subsidize the electric clown cars they want us to buy:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/simple-problems-too-much-us-debt

    The same lefty activists are also denying us enough affordable electricity to charge up those EV’s:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/27/epa-proposes-first-ever-limits-on-new-power-plants-carbon-pollution/


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