2008 Ford Escape Hybrid Plug-In
The government of Ontario expects to put a charge into electric car sales by offering incentives to buyers. Starting on July 1, 2010, drivers who purchase plug-in hybrids or pure electric vehicles will qualify for between $4,000 and $10,000 in incentives.
The program is part of the government's efforts to ease the high cost of admission for early adopters of the new technology.
"They tell me when they roll the first of these off the assembly line, they're going to be expensive relative to the conventional car powered by an internal combustion engine," said Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty. "Well, we want to help people buy those first cars; we want to help the early movers."
EV and plug-in hybrid drivers will be issued green license plates enabling them to use carpool lanes (even if there's only one occupant in the vehicle) until 2015.
Additionally, Ontario plans to install charging stations in the parking lots serving their government and public transportation buildings. The Canadian province is currently collaborating with other entities such as Walmart and the University of Toronto to designate special parking spaces for vehicles with the green plates. This should become especially handy for Ontario's own government employees, as McGuinty plans to add 500 electric vehicles to the Ontario Public Service fleet.
"Our overall target is a pretty ambitious one," he said. "By 2020, we want one out of every 20 cars on the road in Ontario to be an electric vehicle."