Tax Credits & Incentives for Electric Vehicles

The initial purchasing cost of an electric vehicle is one of the main factors that deter people from switching over. Depending on where you live, you may be able to offset some of this cost with incentives provided by the government.

In Canada, there are a few programs that award financial incentives to those planning to purchase a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV). Vehicles that qualify as ZEVs are battery-operated vehicles (BEVs), which use only electricity; plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which use both gas and electricity; and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs), which run only on hydrogen.

If you have a ZEV or are considering getting one, you may be eligible for some of these benefits.

Point-of-Sale Incentives

In May 2019, the Government of Canada released the iZev Program to offer point-of-sale incentives for electric vehicles purchased outright or leased for a minimum of 12 months. As of April 25, 2022, the program has expanded to apply to a wider range of vehicles, including SUVs and minivans. You can view the full list of eligible vehicles online.

Depending on the vehicle and duration of the lease, these incentives go up to $5,000 for new or used EVs or $2,500 for new or used hybrids. These discounts are applied at the time of purchase by the dealer after taxes have been calculated. They’re offered to each individual once per calendar year or on 10 vehicles per year for business owners.

The iZev Program will run until March 31, 2025, while funding lasts.

Post-Sale Incentives

Some provinces have additional incentive programs that can be combined with the iZev benefits. In Ontario, consumers can receive $1,000 toward their used EV purchase (excluding hybrids) after attending an information seminar. The Scrappage Incentive offers another $1,000 toward a used EV in exchange for recycling a gas-powered car.

After purchasing your used EV, send a copy of the bill of sale, vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and seminar certificate to to receive your incentive(s).

Tax Write-offs

For business owners, Canada offers a 100% tax write-off for ZEV purchases of $55,000 or less. If the capital cost of the ZEV is above this rate, you can still receive a maximum write-off of $55,000.

This write-off is offered on any eligible ZEV purchased for use between March 19, 2019 and January 1, 2028. Eligible ZEVs include plug-in hybrids, fully electric vehicles, and fully hydrogen vehicles.

You can find out more about the ZEV tax write-off by contacting the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-5525.

Room for Improvement

Any incentive is better than none, but compared to other countries, Canada’s ZEV benefits may be considered underwhelming, especially in Ontario. Hopefully, these incentives will be increased in the coming years to help reach the government’s goal of making all new vehicles zero-emission by 2035. If you’re interested in continuing your research on EVs, check out some of our other blog posts that discuss topics like range anxiety, fuel efficiency, and maintenance.