While the gap between gas and electric cars is narrowing for comparable models, federal and provincial purchase (or lease) subsidies make a big difference.
Above all, these (non-taxable) subsidies are aimed at “affordable” vehicles. Provincially, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $65,000. Federally, the price ranges from $55,000 (sedans) to $60,000 (SUVs, minivans, pickup trucks).
For the Quebec Roulez vert program, the subsidy applies to new electric vehicles ($7,000 subsidy), hybrids or plug-in or rechargeable hybrids ($300 to $5,000) that have never been registered outside of La Belle Province.
At the federal level, the Zero Emission Vehicle Purchase Incentive ($5,000 grant) applies to new 100% electric, hybrid or plug-in vehicles.
Some models are only eligible for the provincial subsidy (Tesla, for example). Otherwise, federal and provincial grants add up.
The amount of subsidies varies depending on the battery capacity and vehicle model. To find out the lists of eligible vehicles (updated periodically):
• Ottawa: bit.ly/45PrmxR
• Quebec: bit.ly/472Qmmc
Most manufacturers offer to deduct subsidies directly from the purchase price. Please note that they are applied AFTER other fees and taxes. On the other hand, with certain manufacturers, such as Tesla, the buyer must contact the government itself.
At the provincial level, you can also get a subsidy for the purchase of an electric motorcycle ($2000) or an electric scooter ($500).
Both governments offer subsidies for long-term leases of new vehicles. The lease must be for at least 12 months, but the subsidy varies depending on the length of the contract.
Governments do not take into account the actual cost of the vehicle if you add options such as a roof rack, a specific colour, delivery or transport costs.
You can also benefit from a subsidy from Quebec for the purchase and installation of a private charging station, up to $600 if the total bill exceeds this sum (list of eligible terminals: bit.ly/3tMfGhY).
Several cities such as Laval, Sherbrooke and many municipalities in the suburbs of Montreal offer this grant (up to a maximum that varies between $100 and $500; list of municipalities: bit.ly/2PfrqCz).
Finally, some companies (such as Cascades or Boralex) offer additional subsidies to their employees, between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on the type of vehicle and its condition (used or new). Thus, by the end of 2022, 350 Cascades employees had made the leap to electricity.