In a stunning but entirely predictable story, the Ontario government provided rebates of $5,000 dollars per vehicle to people that purchased the Porsche Spyder hybrid ($1.1 million price tag) or the BMW i8 ($362,000) or a Fiskar Karma ($212,000).
But don't worry says Kathleen Wynne, the Liberals have changed the program now capping it at cars valued under $150K. Buy an electric car worth up to $75K and you’ll get $14,000 from the government, but between $75K and $150K you'll only get a $3,000 rebate.
But why any rebate at all? My current car cost a few thousand and is good on gas. Where’s my rebate? I won't be getting one of course because I didn’t buy a fancy electric car.
The Canadian Taxpayer's Federation did a freedom of information request that found:
"Ontario has spent over $39 million in taxpayer money on subsidies for electric vehicles over the past six years. Of those subsidies, $14,243,710.50 were for vehicles with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price over $70,000. And $867,679 in taxpayer money went to subsidize cars that retail at over $100,000."
CTF Ontario director Christine Van Geyn is calling for the program to be scrapped noting hard working Canadian families shouldn’t be subsidizing luxury vehicles for millionaires.
Wynne will point to her changes and claim this is about helping ordinary families buy new cars but I disagree. They’ll look at value for money and choose against an electric car.
Then there’s the issue of charging stations. Gas stations are private interests trying to make money, but the Ontario, Quebec and federal governments want to expand electric vehicle charging stations across the country using taxpayer subsidies.
Quebec is considering making it mandatory for new homes to come with an electric vehicle charging station, which will drive up the cost of new homes for everyone just so a select group that can afford electric cars, can feel good about themselves.
One day the market for electric cars and value for money may be there but it isn’t yet and these subsidies distort the market by rewarding the choices of people that already have the money to spend on toys.
It's time to stop the insanity.