Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

La end of Roulez vert, too fast according to the dealers

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Government financial incentives still play a crucial role in the development of the electric vehicle market, believes the Corporation des concessionaires du Québec.

  • Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)Stéphane Bordeleau

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The announced end of the Quebec government's subsidy for the purchase of electric vehicles in 2027, confirmed Tuesday in Minister Eric Girard's budget, comes “much too early” in the process of electrification of transport, car dealers deplore.

Established in 2012, the Roulez vert program provides, among other things, for the payment of a subsidy of $7,000 to Quebec consumers for the purchase of a new 100% electric car and $5,000 for a new plug-in hybrid car with a capacity of battery is at least 15 kWh.

However, in the budget he presented on Tuesday, the Minister of Finance announced a gradual reduction of these subsidies over the next three years until upon full completion of the program on January 1, 2027.

Remember that with the $5,000 subsidy that Ottawa also offers, Quebec buyers of electric vehicles currently benefit from a cumulative rebate of $12,000 on new electric vehicles.

A discount which constitutes an important incentive that car dealers fear will disappear.

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We think that it is much too early since the price parity between electric vehicles and gasoline vehicles has not been achieved yet.

A quote from Ian P. Sam Yue Chi, CEO of the Corporation des Concessionaires Automobiles du Québec

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Although their number is increasing, electric cars have not yet reached parity with gasoline cars on Quebec roads.

Although they expect that the end of the Roulez vert rebates will lead to an increase in demand for electric vehicles in the short term, because people will want to take advantage of the rebate before it disappears, the end of the program is not does not bode well in the longer term, believes the Corporation of Quebec Automobile Dealers (CCAQ).

We anticipate a slowdown in the greening of the automobile fleet in Quebec, explains Ian P. Sam Yue Chi, CEO of the CCAQ. We think that there will be Quebecers who will have difficulty acquiring these vehicles soon.

For those who believe that the disappearance of the subsidy will force dealers to reduce the price – still very high – of electric vehicles, to remain competitive, do not count on it too much, warns Ian P. Sam Yue Chi.

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Manufacturers do not have the latitude to react quickly and strongly in terms of price reductions.< /p>A quote from Ian P. Sam Yue Chi, CEO of the Quebec Automobile Dealers CorporationOpen in full screen mode

Automakers are spending considerable amounts of money to adapt their assembly lines for large-scale production of electric vehicles.

According to Mr. Sam Yue Chi, Manufacturers have had to incur colossal expenses to adapt their factories and technologies for the mass production of electric vehicles. However, it is necessary to calculate a cycle of approximately eight years before manufacturers amortize these investments. This should keep suggested retail prices quite high for a while longer.

The net result is that the cost associated with the purchase of an electric vehicle will be more expensive, since we cut a rebate which cannot be compensated by manufacturing promotions, believes Ian P. Sam Yue Chi, who adds that the dealers were not consulted by the Legault government before the announcement of the end of Roulez vert.

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From an environmental point of view, the disappearance of Roulez vert is not welcomed as good news either.

What made me jump a little, confides the CEO of Electric Mobility Canada, Daniel Breton, was when the Minister of Finance said: "You know, subsidizing the purchase of electric vehicles is not is not a very effective way, in terms of cost per tonne, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

For me, it is very counterproductive, criticizes Mr. Breton.

For Daniel Breton, the government must not only continue to financially encourage the purchase of electric vehicles , but above all discourage the purchase of large combustion vehicles. Which it doesn't do.

It's like we're going backwards.

A quote from Daniel Breton, CEO of Electric Mobility Canada

Meanwhile, on the roads, there is a huge increase in light trucks [SUVs]. Light trucks saw their greenhouse gas emissions increase by 130% between 1990 and 2021, he points out.

For many years I have been advocating for the government to transfer rebates to a system of remitted royalties. That is to say that on the one hand you penalize people who buy energy-intensive vehicles, and these funds go to the acquisition of electric cars with discounts.

Questioned on this subject at the end of question period in the National Assembly on Wednesday, the Quebec Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, on the contrary said he was satisfied with the progress made in the electrification of transport .

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Minister Benoit Charette considers that the progress made is satisfactory at present.

We're doing pretty well in terms of the program. At the end of the last quarter, 23% of vehicles sold were electric. This is beyond expectations for the year 2023 and we are starting the year 2024 with just as much enthusiasm, said the minister.

For Mr. Charette, the time has come to start weaning the electric vehicle market from this government aid. Not to mention, he recalled, that the end of the Roulez vert program will be spread over several years.

I've been saying for five years that the program can't be eternal. But he fulfills his mandate well.

A quote from Benoit Charrette, Minister of the Environment

According to the minister, it is only a matter of time before the number of vehicles electric vehicles does not equal or surpass that of gasoline vehicles on Quebec roads.

All the evaluations point in the same direction. Over the next few years, and this has already started, the price of electric vehicles tends to fall and around the years 2027-2028-2029, we risk being on par with thermal models, he believes.

Specifying in passing that it is not to save money that we are putting an end to Roulez vert, Minister Charette explained that the sums released will be reinvested in programs that will bring even more convincing results.

Currently, there are approximately 240,000 electric vehicles on the roads of Quebec. Which is nevertheless still far from the objective of 2 million vehicles by 2030 that the Legault government has set.

As for Regarding public charging stations, there are currently around 10,000 in operation in the province. Quebec wants to have 106,000 by 2030, in less than six years.

Ottawa is not left behind in terms of objectives either. Senior officials from the Ministry of the Environment announced last December, during a technical briefing, that zero-emission vehicles, which include battery electric models and hydrogen models, will have to account for 20%. of new cars put on sale in 2026, 60% in 2030 and 100% in 2035.

With information from Éric Plouffe and Jacaudrey Charbonneau

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