Federal electric vehicle rebates in Canada went 153% over their originally intended budgets, a new report out last week unveiled.
Ottawa had shelled out $759 million on EV rebates by March of last year, according to a report by True North. The "unprecedented" number of people claiming the rebates pushed Canada's government well over its allocated spending.
Analysts in the Audit Of Incentives For Zero Emission Vehicles Program said: “The uptake of the program was higher than expected and funding was an ongoing concern.”
“The program’s main risk is not having sufficient funding to meet the demand,” they continued.
In Canada, beginning in 2019, anyone who bought an EV below the price of $45,000 is allowed to claim a rebate of up to $5,000. The government then moved that threshold up to $70,000.
Liberals first claimed the program would cost $300 million, True North reported.
But an audit of the spending found far different results: “The program exhausted its original funding of $300 million and received two subsequent funding top-ups of $287 million and $172 million to continue the program until March 31, 2022 as planned."
136,940 buyers in total have claimed rebates and Canada has extended the budget for the program to $1.6 billion until March 2025. The country is trying to fulfill environment minister Steven Guilbeault's plan to make all vehicles sold by 2035 electric or hybrid.
The cost for such a program amounts to $100 billion a new analysis found.