Update: To clarify that the incentive is not a tax credit that requires filing federal taxes, and to correct Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau's first name.
After Canada introduced a nationwide $5,000 discount for electric cars, sales shot up by 30 percent, the country's Transport Ministry announced on Thursday.
The government announced the national incentive in March, after a provincial election in Ontario last July brought a Conservative government to power which had ended that province's $14,000 rebate for electric cars.
Since the new national incentive has been in effect, the government has issued 14,000 of the subsidies, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement. Sales of plug-in cars in the country reached 3 percent in the second quarter, up from 2 percent last year.
The country has set a goal to reach 100 percent sales of electric vehicles by 2040, under the Paris Climate Accord, and is working with California to adopt that state's goals for clean air and clean fuels.
In a statement announcing the subsidies' effect, Garneau said that the 14,000 EV purchases—which include plug-in hybrids—will eliminate the emissions of 36,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year, or 429,000 tons over their expected lifetimes.
"Through these efforts, the Government of Canada is encouraging the use of zero-emission vehicles and making this clean technology more affordable to Canadians, while promoting a cleaner environment and better quality of life," the Ministry said in a release. "Canadians’ quality of life—and Canada’s future growth—are deeply tied to the environment."