By on July 13, 2018

2017 Chevrolet Bolt - Image: Chevrolet

As comedian and secret smart guy Norm Macdonald states during his standup routines, “Now, I don’t want to get political, but…”

Of course, Norm then trails off into a topic that’s completely removed from politics, like waiters using a sexualized tone while describing succulent desserts. I’ll keep it toned down here, lest an uproar ensues. From time to time, the actions of governments raise questions pertaining to vehicles that we can discuss without freaking out, and this happens to be one of those times.

Anyway, it turns out I’ll no longer be paying for a minute portion of someone else’s Tesla purchase.

In the corner of the world I call home, the brother of a controversial former Toronto mayor now rules the roost, and changes are happening fast. The most recent auto-related action in Ontario, which just switched parties after 15 years of Liberal dominance, saw the long-running — and gradually beefed-up — electric vehicle incentive program cancelled.

This program had nothing on the United States’ EV tax credit.

Ontario’s Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program, which ceased to exist on July 11th, handed over piles of cash to buyers of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, all in the name of citizens making the right choices, cleaner air, climate change, etc, etc. The right choice, up here, is to not drive. Even though distances are vast, airfare exorbitant, and Greyhound’s pulling up stakes across half the country, driving a car is frowned upon by politicians and activists residing mainly in three major cities with an abundance of transit options. Those people set the tone, and that sets policy. Nothing new there.

Under this program, buyers were eligible for up to $14,000 off applicable vehicles. With the incentive tied to battery capacity, Ontario buyers saw the full amount removed from the sticker of vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and other full-on EVs. Plug-in buyers received fewer dollars from their neighbors, though Chrysler Pacifica PHEV customers were still able to knock the full amount off the price of their Ontario-built vehicle. Chevrolet Volt buyers saw a $13,000 incentive, Volvo XC90 T8 Momentum buyers got $10,000, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV fans got $7,000, and Toyota Prius Prime buyers collected $5,000. And so on and so forth.

The program wavered back and forth between a hefty, six-figure vehicle price cap (the top-end Tesla Model X was once eligible), and a $75,000 one, ultimately switching to the lower cap right before the recent election.

With the program scrapped (it was tied to a cap-and-trade program that’s also now defunct), EV and plug-in hybrid buyers lose a major incentive, and automakers stand to see a corresponding drop in sales in Canada’s most populous province. For low-end electrics like the Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq, and Bolt, that’s a major price hit. And automakers already sell EVs at a loss, so it’s hard to imagine an OEM replacing the full sum of the missing government incentives with its own.

Not my problem, you might say.

Call me a commie or conservative, but it always ruffled my feathers seeing well-to-do buyers (who can surely afford the full price of their virtuous automobile) accepting $14k from the inhabitants of a heavily indebted province with unresolved social issues. All while those same inhabitants, most of them unable to afford a new car — let alone an electric one — face a price increase at the pumps. (A slew of gas taxes goes towards road repair and, in cities, transit investment). EV drivers need not offer up these particular taxes, which eat up well over 40 percent of the price of a gallon of gas.

This isn’t to say I’m not a fan of plug-ins or EVs, because I am. They remain an interesting and smooth-riding alternative to our traditional, ICE-powered vehicle landscape, and the option of “refueling” at home is an attractive one. Cleaner air is always a good thing.

However, the program’s death has led to a predictable outcry — one that’s either right-on or unwarranted, depending on your stance on the importance of getting people out of their cars and into EVs as soon as possible.

If handed the levers of power, where would you draw the line when it comes to government incentives on green vehicles? Would there be a line, or would there even be a program? Maybe you’d let the market handle it, and force people who really want to drive green pay the full cost?

Surely, there’s an argument to be made that instead of giving the well-off (or at least comfortable) a break on a privately-owned vehicle with public dollars, there’s merit in using that cash for green transport everyone can use.

Weigh in below.

[Image: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

88 Comments on “QOTD: Who Should Pay for Your New Car?...”


  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    Oh those wacky Canucks. What will they do next?

    Yankee- hold my beer.

  • avatar
    ernest

    That’s a good question, but potentially loaded with some complicated social issues. I live outside of Portland, Or. Pretty much the same situation- if you ride a bike, use mass transit, or walk you’re golden. If you live in the Suburbs and drive a Tesla, you’re good to go. Thing is, there is a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between what is thought to be socially acceptable transportation in town, versus my neighborhood roughly 13 miles to the East. Pickups, CUV’s, and SUV’s rule the roost out here.

    Who pays? In my own mind, it’s simple- whoever buys.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The smartest vehicle acquisition in Ontario over the past few years may have been a 3 year lease on a C-Max. After the rebate it would have cost the leassee approximately $110 per month.

    An Ioniq would have been almost as good a deal and, yes I was looking at pulling the trigger on one, until the ‘GreenOn’ and similar environmental and energy rebate programs were abruptly cancelled. Happily I was reimbursed for the home improvements that I had contracted for prior to the cancellation.

    As for vehicle costs up here in Ontario. Used cars are far more expensive than in the USA. And many vehicles still tend to rust out before they wear out. Gas prices are at an all time high. Costing us (me) around $40 per week more for gas than last year. And for my family’s ‘fleet’ of cars, despite our ‘perfect’ driving records, overall fairly low travel mileage and the fact that the average replacement/trade-in value for 3 of the 4 cars is around $4k, I am now paying just over $6k this year for car insurance. Plus around $500 for license plate stickers.

    A European style public transit experience is looking more and more attractive.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Gas prices are not at an all time high. Once you lie about one thing, I begin to doubt all your other statements.

      • 0 avatar
        Ugliest1

        Gas prices where I live (BC, not Ontario) hit the all-time high two weeks ago ($1.55/L $CAD, or, slightly under $5/US gal $USD). So, @deans, were you lying, and we should doubt all your other statements?

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @deanst: Gas prices are at an all time high in many parts of Canada. See the links that I have posted.

        And since you are incorrect in regards to this, then we must using your logic assume that everything that you have posted is also false.

        Before you start calling people names, check your facts. Or are you an old, fat, bald guy with a bad fake tan yelling from behind a podium.

        https://globalnews.ca/news/4178261/gas-prices-records-canada/

        https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-election-gas-prices-1.4644750

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Make of this what you will, but digging through my Fuelly records, the highest price I’ve recorded is $1.419/L back in June 2014 (certainly in excess of what we’re at now). Furthermore, on my last car (owned from Feb ’12 to Aug ’14), I averaged $1.28/L, while the current car (Aug ’14 to present) has averaged $1.11/L.

          Also, the European style public transit experience and walkable city and such all sounds nice, but there’s too many obstructionist groups in Toronto for that to ever happen beyond where it already exists.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Maymar, those are some pretty comprehensive records. However prices have spiked recently to these record highs. So your 2014 to present averages are not applicable.

            But don’t worry our new Premier has promised to reduce gas prices by approximately 10 cents per litre.

            Not sure how he will accomplish this as I believe Ontario no longer produces significant amounts of crude and the number of refineries in the province has been reduced over the past few decades.

            The fractious nature of Ontario and Toronto politics has created a terrible transportation problem. The Allen and Scarborough Expressways should have been completed as planned. The 407 should have remained in public hands as the Toronto By-Pass.

            The Eglinton subway tunnel should never have been filled in and drilling should have been allowed to continue.

            And a light rail line should be constructed along the Hydro corridor, linking the GTA from east to west.
            Here are more links demonstrating that gas prices are at an alltime high in Canada.

            https://globalnews.ca/news/4175889/vancouver-reaches-highest-gas-prices-in-north-american-history-expected-to-keep-rising-analyst/

            https://tradingeconomics.com/canada/gasoline-prices

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            So, had a few minutes to play around with Excel – from Feb ’12 until June ’14, we were consistently between $1.20 – $1.40/L. Once we hit that $1.40/L mark, we quickly tapered off for six months, and then spent the next three years in the $1.00-$1.20/L range (a few months dipped below the dollar mark, mind you). It’s been steadily rising for about a year now. So yes, gas prices have spiked, but it’s not an all-time high by any means (and I doubt that Vancouver gas prices had much to do with the Ontario election). I should also have ’08-’12 records on a hard drive somewhere, although I don’t remember much other than it being around the dollar mark when I started driving in ’02.

            And while I don’t doubt that Ford will drop the gas tax 10 cents a litre (what I thought the actual promise was), we’ll see if the oil companies don’t just decide that they can take a piece of those savings for themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      ernest

      @ Arthur Dailey

      Those are astounding transportation costs. Three vehicles here, a late model Camry, Charger R/T, and an older Bronco. Insurance runs about $2500/yr for all three. Filled up the Hemi last week for $2.65/gallon. Bronco’s expensive to fill, but it doesn’t log many miles either. I’d guesstimate our fuel costs at about $150/mo or so. Plates run about $350 on a new car, but that’s also a 4 year fee.

      Explains why so many Canukistani’s are camped out on the US side of the British Columbia border.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @ Ernest: Your post prodded me to add up my annual vehicle operating costs. These apply to 2 ‘older’ sedans, 1 ‘older’ CUV and one leased CUV. And approximately 60,000kms travelled in total.

        Car insurance: $6,000.
        Fuel: $6,400
        CUV lease: $3,540
        Repairs and maintenance: $3,100
        407 tolls: $2,800
        Car/Van Rentals: $840
        License plates: $480
        Parking: $475
        Driver’s licence renewal: $120
        Car sharing membership: $80
        Total: $23,835 of after tax money

        Now I am going to lie down and cry.

        • 0 avatar
          ernest

          @ Arthur Dailey.

          Just… wow. You already know the insurance, fuel, and plate story. Here’s the rest:

          Repairs/Maintenance: <$100 except for Bronco. Maybe $500/yr (?). It's optional- just an extra toy.

          Tolls: Don't have them. ODOT wants to… going to be a tough row to hoe. Tolls aren't remotely popular… except to people that don't have to pay them.

          Parking: Nope… stay away from downtown, live in an "ex-urban" area. Like, just past suburbia.

          Driver's Licence Renewal: $40, good for 8 years.

          Car sharing: Huh???

          memo- no sales tax.

          Unknown expense- depreciation. '16 Camry and '17 Charger should generate a significant number for the first few years.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @ Ernest, those parking expenses aren’t even for downtown Toronto. I use public transit or the car share when I have to drive around down there.

            As for depreciation, I don’t even want to think about that. This is the first time in my adult life that I have had a vehicle more than 6 years old. Currently I have 3 of them. Their trade in values are a joke. I won’t sell privately. So we will have to drive them until the cost of maintenance becomes just too high or they are no longer reliable.

            Factoring in all the costs, it is actually less expensive for me to lease. And lease rates in Canada are far, far higher than in the USA.

            Rentals because I no longer have a van, but need one on occasion and mini-vans are the most expensive vehicle to rent in this area.

            As for tolls Highway 407 is I have been told the most expensive toll road in the world. Leased for 99 years to a private consortium, by our previous ‘Conservative’ government for about 1/3 of its actual value.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        #Maymar: as per one of the links:
        “Shock at the pump for some Metro Vancouver drivers, as gas prices broke an all-time record Sunday.“The 1.619 represents the single largest price point ever paid at any gas station, or any regional gas station across North America in the history of fuel.”

        Your records most likely relate only to your specific geographic area.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Yes, but I’m Toronto area, like you – don’t mention how gas prices are at an all-time high in Ontario and cite Vancouver as proof (“As for vehicle costs up here in Ontario. … Gas prices are at an all time high.”), especially if you’re also using your own running costs as evidence. Further more, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say there’s not massive price differences across the Golden Horseshoe (and if anything, Metro Toronto skews a couple cents more expensive).

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Here are a couple of very recent articles from the National Post regarding high fuel prices in Canada.

            David Booth’s tries to explain it.
            Lorraine Sommerfield states in her first sentence that “Canadian gas prices are set to be at an all time high this summer.” And I would never disagree with Lorraine.

            https://driving.ca/auto-news/news/ways-to-save-gas-money-on-the-way-to-the-cottage

            https://driving.ca/auto-news/news/motor-mouth-14

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Interesting, I’ve never considered the income of global warmists before. Other than the children who inhabit colleges and universities, who are not generally well-heeled, it’s usually relatively comfortable folks who signal virtue and warmist views. My tax money’s going to end up somewhere besides my pocket anyway, so I really don’t care. Warmists, on the other hand, claim to care about economic injustice and the evils of capitalism. Surely their tax credits could be put to better use, right? I guess those credits will have to be pried from their cold, dead, manicured fingers.

    • 0 avatar
      la834

      lol, “warmists”, as if global warming was some sort of ideology rather than a scientifically proven fact.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ la834

        Warming has been happening since the last Ice Age. Prove that it is happening due to marginal increases in man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Also, prove to me that a warming planet is actually a bad thing for humanity in the long run, considering mankind’s entire ascent has occurred during a prolonged slight warming cycle.

        Whether you know it or not, you are signing up to buy indulgences from the church of climatology, while also allowing the high priests to install supranational governments to usurp the democratic ballot. Excuse us if we mock you for being an easy mark.

        • 0 avatar
          la834

          I spent four years working for the National Weather Service and have been to over 50 of their offices nationwide. I’ve talked with hundreds of meteorologists. Amongst them, there was universal agreement that temperatures are on the rise. We’ve been measuring temperature for about 200 years, and the charts don’t lie. BTW, meteorologists are not some cultist liberal tree-huggers from the “church of climatology” but rather a politically diversified group that simply understands how weather and climate really work.

          I’m not a scientist or meteorologist myself and I don’t know or understand what the long term effects of climate change are (and incidentally am not a supporter of government payouts to EV buyers). What I do know though is that the temperatures are rising and that the last 15 or so years have been the warmest on record.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            “I’m not a scientist or meteorologist myself..” That’s irrelevant, neither is Bill Nye “The Science Guy” yet he represents the settled science wing of the warmist movement.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ la834

            This might come as a shock, but Wall Street stock brokers, chief economists, bank shareholders and investors “all agree” that the trade deficit is a fundamentally good thing for America, and represents economic vitality and strength.

            What is the reality? We’re $20T in debt with $1T deficits looming, and all of those Wall Street professionals rely upon the trade deficit to derive a bigger salary, bigger bonuses, bigger investment portfolios, and more political lobbying power in DC.

            Despite their prodigious credentials and lifetime of experience on Wall Street, many of them are the most vile traitors to ever be granted human rights in a civilized nation.

            Meteorologists are susceptible to self-interested group think, like Wall Street professionals. Any scientist, who uses short-term warming trends to nurture a political movement to usurp nation states and regulate everything that breathes, is far more dangerous than the hedge fund robber barons on Wall Street.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Sub-600, are you a climatologist? Why is the barrier of knowledge and experience higher for the people you disagree with?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      It’s increasingly entertaining to watch you all rant about “warmists” as each successive summer sets global temperature records and Miami rushes to spend billions on pumps and seawalls to keep water from bubbling up through its streets.

      Fortunately for me, I live in an area that won’t become unlivably hot, and on a hill at 200 feet above sea level.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Insurance companies have the statistics to prove climate change. Their actuarial tables are now obsolete as once in a century storms become annual events. Claims for flood damage have grossly exceeded all of their predictions.

        But taking steps against climate change is only logical if one takes into account game theory or logic. If we take the necessary steps and climate change does not occur, then the cost is in money that can eventually be recouped. If we do not take the necessary steps and climate change does occur, then the result may be the extermination of our species.

        Based on a cost benefit analysis the choice is easy.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          “..then the end result may be the extermination of our species” – Raymond Burr, “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!”, 1956.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ Arthur Dailey

          So by your reckoning society must regulate everything that breathes in order to bailout the insurance industry?

          Society’s death wish is a fascinating thing to behold. Concern trolling humanity into a hellish dystopia in the name of progress and responsibility. Genuinely fascinating glitch in human nature.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “Regulate everything that breathes” seems an awfully hyperbolic way to describe these policies, which are basically what people are talking about when they ask for action on climate:

            – Heavy tax on carbon-intensive fuels
            – Electrification of carbon-fuel-using technologies, where possible
            – Transition of power grid to non-carbon sources

            So a lot of dams, nuclear power plants, solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles. Apocalypse!

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ dal20402

            It seems hyperbolic because the power-grab is still in its nascent stage. Furthermore, you need not waste your time creating an illusory Utopian construct. I already know you’re on board, and you already know I know its bullsh**

            The saddest part of this Greek tragedy is that the Western world is comprised mainly of existential democracies. In other words, we believe we have the right to do whatever we want, as long as we are free and our endeavors are somewhat useful. We could simply decide to minimize pollution because that’s a world worth living in, and we could do it mostly autonomously. No junk science, bad policy or fake religion required.

            Yet people still push the notion of climate apocalypse because the only way to justify regulatory treachery and human rights violations is to foil them against human extinction. If people believe an extinction event is imminent, they will agree to nearly anything, and believe they are doing good.

            These defective people have no place in a free society. We are not going to recreate the Medieval Catholic Church and its system of indulgences so a bunch of misguided moral busybodies can feel better about themselves.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          Insurance company data is now proof for the warmism crowd, lol. Insurance data. Good grief. Last week it was a white buffalo or something.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Meteorologists, scientists, actuaries use data. Whereas our climate change deniers refer to some unknown global conspiracy theory, to try to refute facts.

            Seems a somewhat one sided debate.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Arthur Dailey

            On the contrary, you have no facts because the climate data collected has no historical basis for comparison other than ice core data. Modern trends are not exceptional according to ice core data. Furthermore, you cannot tie warming to human activity nor can you even argue that warming is fundamentally bad for humanity, particularly since the end of the Ice Age was the rise of humans.

            There is only one behavior that can be objectively observed. There is a large group of people who have accepted the notion of climate crisis simply to violate the human rights of others and install unelected bureaucracies to regulate and control nations states and global commerce.

            We can do whatever makes us happy for whatever reason we want. There is no need to establish a false religion and then create an unchecked, supranational regulatory regime that sells carbon indulgences.

            The argument is very lopsided. There are livestock longing for the slaughterhouse, and there are sentient beings who trust themselves and others to problem solve and exercise their freedom without heavy-handed regulatory oversight.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Creating a civilization at the edge of the ocean has always been a hazardous proposition.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Deny, deny, deny. Without fact.

          What historical data is required regarding the damage caused by nuclear fallout?

          The data indicates trends that are increasing rapidly.
          Insurance data is proof that weather patterns are becoming increasingly more extreme.

          Those opposing climate change have no scientific proof to refute it. Which is why the vast majority of the scientific community support it.

  • avatar
    bkojote

    If you’re unable to afford a car, aren’t you on the welfare end of the tax base?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      No this is a handout to the wealthy, just like the PHIT Act currently being debated by Congress that would give a $500 per year tax break for things like gym memberships.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Well, I see it as a way to promote certain future/tech industries not just a way to appease the green crowd or give back to the wealthy. There is a certain logic to it.

    I guess, if this bothers you or anyone else, it is a drop in the bucket in terms of government give-aways to corporate interests, wealthy tax payers. There are a number of things in the tax code alone that favor the wealthy in far larger dollar amounts.

    I think at this point, it should be looked at for what it is. Support for an industry that countries like the US and Canada would like to foster on their home turf….the kicker being……for future returns which may or may not happen.

  • avatar
    EV Owner

    If automakers sell EVs at a loss it’s because they try to sell them where people don’t want them. If they really wanted to make money with them they would go for quantity like they do for their ICE.

    But here in Québec we can only buy EVs by pre-ordering them and waiting many months before they get delivered. Not a good way to make them mainstream.

    Many people wanted the new Leaf and now they have to wait for the 2019 model year (coming in November) because there will not be any more Leafs before then.

    And Leafs are among the least expensive EVs on the market. And they are really good cars. People around here that do >20000km/yr are saving money over a comparable ICE.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Q: “Who should pay for your new car?”
    A: I should.

    As for subsidies, I’m fundamentally against them, but I won’t leave money on the table, either. Our governments subsidize all sorts of behaviors and industries. At least the EV subsidies have an expiration date.

    TTAC is that I wouldn’t have gotten my former Leaf without the subsidy, which is the case for many people buying low end EVs. However, Nissan took the Federal subsidy for themselves when I leased the car, so my income had nothing to do with it.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    In an ideal world, etc would have a truly flat tax on personal and corporate income, capital gains, dividends, etc. No subsidies, no tax breaks, a true “file on a postcard” system.

    Failing that, it seems disingenuous to complain so loudly about this particular tax credit when it is just one relatively small thing amongst so many other giveaways of dubious value (fossil fuel company tax breaks, relocation breaks for new factories, mortgage interest deduction, ethanol subsidies, state/city assistance for pro sports stadiums, and so on). Could there have been an income phaseout to improve the optics of a millionaire getting $7500 off a Tesla he would buy anyways? Sure. But on the list of government giveaways to be upset about, this one doesn’t even make my top 50.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      A flat deductionless tax system is probably not idea, though it is very simple. However, a single marginal tax bracket for all taxpayers is probably closer to the ideal. It eliminates the need for marital/household status questions, and it stops 50.1% of the country from raising the statutory tax rates for 49.9% of the country.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Let’s just repeal income taxes.

        You tax things that you want less of.

        Nobody wants Americans to have less income.

        Let’s replace the lost government revenue with a carbon tax, and repeal CAFE while we’re at it. Once the market price of fuel includes the cost of the environmental and climate damage done by burning that fuel, then the market will sort out the best way to to use and/or conserve the fuel.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I live in the eastern suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area.. I like the whole Tesla concept, and I’m starting to see more of them on the road. Personally , not the car for me. The auxiliary I.C.E engine would have me lean more towards a Volt…That being said, I’m don’t ask ,or expect any of my fellow, Ontario citizens to pay for it.

    Doug Ford is doing a bizarre thing. Doug Ford is actually delivering on the promises he made while on the election trail. The same election that left the sitting Liberals with out official party status .

    The Liberal media love to compare Doug to his quite popular, though controversial, late brother. Some will refer to Doug as the Donald Trump of the north.

    Doug dresses better than his brother. Doug won’t be caught smoking crack, or bringing hookers into city hall. I doubt the cameras will capture Doug parking his Escalade and taking a leak in the park.

    As far as comparisons to the sitting President of the United States ? I’m a Canadian, as such , not my place to comment.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      The sitting POTUS is also delivering on the promises he made on the election trail. It’s a welcome change from the platitudes that change into personal agendas the minute after the inauguration.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Talk to me after he achieves his targeted savings while not firing anyone. He’ll be as successful as Justin was in balancing the budget.

  • avatar
    hriehl1

    I suggest a “progressive” sliding scale of rebates, to be consistent with what many consider “fair ” taxation. In essence, the higher the price of the EV, the lower its rebate. Above say, 35K there is no rebate.

    The rationale being that those who can afford expensive cars do not deserve rebates. Those who buy cheaper EVs are presumably poor and pay little or no taxes, so they are certainly deserving of rebates.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Never filed for an EV tax rebate, but it would make sense to phase it out based on income in your tax return like many other tax credits. You make too much, screw you pay up, no deduction for you.

      Seems like this would address the issue and relate directly to the taxpayers ability to pay rather than the type of vehicle desired.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Is it a true credit where you can lose it if your tax burden isn’t high enough, or is it like the US Earned Income Credit where one can get the entirety of the credit and get the full refund even if they paid zero taxes? I have less issue with it if it is the former.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      So a person who earns less “deserves” more? Really? Governments should not be in the business of determining who “deserves” more “rebate”.

      I say get rid of ALL subsidies at every level of business.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Here’s the problem:

      EV Tax incentives never were to help POOR people.

      They were always intended to help increase volumes of sales. If you increase the volumes of sales, then prices decline and the product becomes sustainable.

      Without the incentives, the idea is the rich people would just go buy a gasser instead.

      Poor people can’t afford the EV even WITH the incentives.

      Again, this was never a welfare program, but rather a way to help sell more cars.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Complicated situation.

    Demand-subsidies, like rebates on vehicle MSRP, tend to be flawed because, despite the appearance of benefit to the consumer, the economic value is easily captured by producers, particularly in an oligopoly. The buyer thinks they are getting a sizable discount, but the producer actually has pricing leverage and can capture the benefit by raising prices or altering the cost structure of their product.

    Supply-subsidies, like public investment and public funding of new technology, are an issue because the government is effectively picking winners and losers, and they have a stellar record for choosing losers, who also happen to be their friends and political donors.

    Hopefully, government will transition to prize oriented policy or stick-and-carrot policies in the future. You sell 100,000 EVs per year, and the government will provide a $1B award ($10,000 per EV). It’s a conditional supply-side policy that rewards success, not corruption and failure. However, this arrangement can also distort the market, and depending upon the behaviors proscribed in the rules, it can also effectively choose winners and losers in the general sense (e.g. rewarding EVs but not hydrogen fuel cell).

    The only reliable way to progress as a civilization is to pursue economic growth, and to let consumer markets vet various ideas regarding ecology and human progress. The government merely acts as a backstop in that case, establishing basic rules to prevent the market from chopping down a redwood forest along the way. Unfortunately, this arrangement is not particularly glamorous for companies who would prefer the certainty of ten-digit subsidies from the public treasury.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>heavily indebted province <<

    Thanks to Maurice String – the inventor of AGW – Ontario has more debt than any non-nation, Ontarians suffer the lingering legacy of the energy plan Strong introduced as Chairman of Ontario Hydro.

    "In the last 10 years, Ontario has more than doubled the province’s debt, which is the largest subnational debt in the world, and the government continues to spend more than it collects, to the tune of $12 billion this year."
    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/05/08/ontarios-spending-and-debt-are-not-sustainable.html

    Good luck w/ that.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    I live right on the mississauga/Toronto border. I sit well “left” of many members here but always despised the green program, such a massive waste of money that achieves absolutely nothing.

    The Ford’s are absolute tools of the highest order but the previous government were basically criminal in their lack of financial management and pushing their ridiculous agendas.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I am tempted to say just means test the credit. I am told (and agree) that people will still buy the high end stuff (Porsche, Tesla, etc…Tesla better hope so anyway) and I’m not a fan of subsidizing purchases I can’t afford to make as is the case with any Porsche electric). Did the LaFerrari qualify for any tax breakes?

  • avatar
    dwford

    Tax credits may have been necessary in the last 5-10 years because people needed to be encouraged to buy a fundamentally flawed product (EV’s with very low ranges). Now, however, it is becoming or about to become common to have EVs with 200-300+ mile range. At that point they can be considered fully usable products, not needing a government incentive to sell.

    The odd thing about the federal incentives in the US is that they are per manufacturer. So the slow to market manufacturers will enjoy substantial price advantages vs Tesla in the coming years for no real good reason.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    For a whole variety of reasons I think subsidizing electric mobility is a good thing. That includes both electric cars and smaller electric vehicles (bikes, scooters, etc.)

    But subsidizing the entire EV is probably too imprecise a tool, because it’s not the whole EV that has a cost issue. It’s the battery. Electric motors are cheap and the rest of the EV is the same as a gas car. I’d ignore the off-base rhetoric about “government picking winners and losers” and subsidize both basic battery research and the purchase by manufacturers of batteries to be used in personal transportation devices (cars, motorcycles, and bikes alike).

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      That sort of project would previously have been handled by the US military or by NASA. Both have been gutted and sold off to private companies over the years.

      You can either sponsor the brokedown palace known as the welfare state or you can sponsor infrastructure and R&D. We can’t do both. It’s bankrupting the nation.

      Where do you think China spends its public funds?

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Well, to be clear, we’re all paying for each other’s consumption choices one way or another anyway: if the price of a gallon of gas doesn’t reflect the externalities of extracting, refining and burning that gallon, then those costs are effectively imposed on all of us without our consent. While it’s difficult to pin those down with precision, one estimate that’s probably as good as any puts them at $3.80 a gallon. See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-015-1343-0 .

    Figure a typical car these days consumes 10,000 gallons of gas in its lifetime as it travels 2-300,000 miles, that means we’re paying about $38k for it, collectively, so $7k doesn’t sound like that bad a deal – except that, natch, that electricity has to come from somewhere, which suffers the same problem unless you’re the unicorn who lives on a sunny organic farm that generates all of its electricity from solar.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Drivers of pure EVs already avoid the gas taxes which pay for the roads they drive on. That’s a pretty big subsidy by itself. Down here in the US, some states are considering taxing by the mile to recover the missing tax receipts.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      That’s the simplest and most logical subsidy.

      As an ICE driver, I’m perfectly fine with subsidizing the road usage of EV vehicles in order to avoid more complex taxation schemes as well as any future excuses to track my movements.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        My only concern with tracking mileage would be that it’s tacked on to what’s already charged at the pump. Also, significant those who spend a fair amount of time traveling outside of the state might be charged inappropriately for the marginal wear and tear done outside of the state.

        I don’t know if I’m thinking about this appropriately or not, but wouldn’t there need to be a way to figure out when a car is in the state versus outside of the state for a driven-miles tax to be as fair as possible? For the record I don’t want a dongle in my car either.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          Does that mean you’d expect out-of-state drivers to track their miles in your state and pay for those miles when they drove through?

          There isn’t a particularly good way of doing any of this if the gas tax doesn’t work, unfortunately. I’ll be damned if I have a GPS dongle in my car to tell the government how much to tax me for how many miles I’ve driven.

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            That’s what I mean. Unless the theory is that the mileage driven on each others’ roads, and not being captured in the state of travel, would even out. I don’t see a viable distance traveled tax levy working, unless all states do it and drop their fuel taxes.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @Astigmatism: Somebody already knows how many miles you’ve driven. It’s reported at your annual safety inspection, and/or to your insurance company from time to time.

            Your annual mileage really isn’t private information.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            @SCE: Sure, but where? If we’re trying to track miles driven in a particular state, my odometer is pretty useless.

          • 0 avatar
            arach

            I kind of like the GPS dongle idea. Especially if I can just leave it in the garage….

  • avatar
    ernest

    It’s “Climate Change” now, not Global Warming anymore. I wish you guys would keep up with current events.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      It’s both: global warming is the increase in temperatures caused principally by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, climate change is everything else connected to it, such as rising sea levels, ocean acidification, etc.

      The government’s shift to use the term “climate change” (and preference over that term to “global warming”) came about in the early 2000’s as a result of a memo by pollster Frank Luntz advising Republicans that “climate change” sounded like a less worrisome phenomenon than “global warming.” You can read the memo at https://www.motherjones.com/files/LuntzResearch_environment.pdf .

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        Well, sort of…

        https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/climate_by_any_other_name.html

        The earth is about 4.6 Billion years old, give or take. There has NEVER been a time that we can ascertain that the climate remained relatively constant. I’m not saying it is or it isn’t. I AM saying it’s anything but settled science, and the entire topic being used as as an excuse for political and social engineering has not done anything to improve our clarity of the situation, it’s causes, or it’s ramifications.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          There is plenty of data that man has influenced the climate. 97% of the world’s scientists agree. What is more of a question mark is what will those changes bring…

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Buying a car, any car, should be the responsibility of the buyer, and nobody else.

    I do think an interesting point is brought up above. Every time I put gas in my car, I pay tax that pays for the roads I drive on. An EV owner should also pay a tax, albeit a flat tax, that I believe should be added to their registration costs. Larger (ICE) vehicles that do more damage to roadways already pay more tax. If it costs $100 to drive an F-350 300 miles, and $30 to drive my Taurus the same amount, it works out. My car weighs less and theoretically should do less damage to a roadway. The only link missing is an EV driver paying his/her share.

    Will this discourage EV purchases? Maybe, but fair is fair. Your Leaf drives on the same roads my Taurus does, so why should I pay to help maintain them and you don’t? Basing it on miles driven is debatable, but no, I’m not in favor of any one, government agency or not, having the ability to track a given vehicle.

    Perhaps the registration tax could be assessed based on the mileage difference between the last registration and the current. If you only drove 4500 miles in a given year, you pay less than someone who drove 10,000 miles in a given year. Base it off the odometer reading and nothing else.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Another thought, it could also be based off the vehicle’s weight, so a Leaf driver pays less than a Model X driver, so it works out similar to the 1-ton truck vs midsize sedan example I gave.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      But your murdering my children John, with your emissions destroying the air.

      You SHOULD be paying a lot more taxes to make up for that. You aren’t paying an added “child murder Tax”…

      I’m driving an EV, so since I’m saving your children, I should pay less in tax.

      >> Now I don’t totally agree with that and I don’t drive an EV. My point though is this is the mentality among many, that EVs are so good for society, its worth incentivizing, because when that rich guy drives an EV, thats helping YOU and YOUR CHILDREN. If he’s helping YOU, shouldn’t you help pay for it?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “automakers already sell EVs at a loss”

    This a thousand times.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      At the high end, automakers do make a profit on each ev sold. I suspect nissan sells the leaf at a profit as well. Falling battery prices have made that possible.

      There’s a company that has developed an extrusion method for manufacturing solid state batteries. If they are for real and that process makes it into production, they will get even cheaper. Closer to the point that ev s are cheaper to make than ice.

  • avatar
    don1967

    ” it always ruffled my feathers seeing well-to-do buyers (who can surely afford the full price of their virtuous automobile) accepting $14k from the inhabitants of a heavily indebted province”

    Well-to-do people pay the lion’s share of tax revenues in a “progressive” society, and are therefore receiving only a small partial refund when they receive a kickback for spending their own money on an energy-efficient car, home windows, etc. under the now-defunct programs.

    That said, all forms of forced wealth redistribution are inherently evil and should be scrapped. Doug Ford is doing exactly what he was elected to do.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    If the government really wants to promote EV usage by John/Joan Q. Public it would buy EVs for gov use. The Federal gov buys thousands of vehicles and could specify things like range. Automakers would be falling all over themselves to get those contracts.
    Reports had it that the Chevy Suburban was going to be phased out in the early 1980s due to high fuel prices/declining sales. It was kept alive by gov purchases for the military, FBI, etc.
    The USPS, now a semi gov agency, could use EV for mail delivery.
    The range would get longer and the price would get lower due to increased numbers.
    When I was at a dealership recently I looked at their PHEVs and EVs. I asked the salesman about the gov rebates and he either knew little about it or was unable to explain it. Not the best way to make a sale.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    I believe Honduh and Toyoduh owners should have to pay for every domestic vehicle sold whose dollars don’t end up in Tokyo. I’m all for soaking the people who tailgate the most and who abandon all common sense when behind the wheel. Tax them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and send them into poverty.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • RHD: The original post in this thread had the analysis of its content in the very last line: “All BS.”...
  • Inside Looking Out: Grishka Rasputin is a brand of vodka.
  • redgolf: “The rule of thumb is never buy first year production cars” I disagree, I bought a 97 Pontiac GP...
  • SD 328I: Isn’t the current Ranger outselling everyone but the Tacoma? The current Ranger is nowhere near the...
  • SD 328I: You can blame VW for the larger Ranger, the next Amarok is going to be based on the Ranger, and they needed...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber