PEI

Electric-vehicle rebate program proving popular, says minister

P.E.I. Environment Minister Steven Myers says almost half the money set aside for electric vehicle rebates in the spring budget has been spent.

‘Allowing a used vehicle brings it down to a more affordable price range’

The P.E.I. government wants an electric vehicle in every driveway by 2030. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

P.E.I. Environment Minister Steven Myers says almost half the money set aside for electric-vehicle rebates in the spring budget has been spent.

The province is offering a $5,000 rebate on new or used electric vehicles, and $2,500 off plug-in hybrids. Myers said about 40 vehicles have been purchased so far.

The budget allowed $500,000 for the program, but Myers said if that money runs out he will step up and ask for more.

"Islanders know me, I'm not going to be afraid to go back to treasury board and ask for more money if this is a successful program," he said.

"If results on the uptake are good we'll make sure we're there to answer the bell on the financial side."

This is step one in a goal to have all Islanders driving electric vehicles by 2030, Myers said.

Environment Minister Steven Myers wants to get more Islanders talking about how great electric vehicles are. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

Including used vehicles in the program is a big part of that, he said, which should allow more lower-income Islanders to take part.

"We have a big used-car market here on Prince Edward Island," said Myers.

"Allowing a used vehicle brings it down to a more affordable price range."

It is also important to remember that electric vehicles have a lower operating cost, he said.

Myers acknowledged that 100 vehicles is just a small step in the nine-year plan to put an EV in every driveway, but he said he believes momentum will build.

"We have to get cars on the road and have to get people using them and talking to their neighbours and saying how great they are and how range isn't an issue," he said.

With a range of 500 kilometres, he said the cars will take you anywhere you want on the Island in a day's driving.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

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