Federal incentives to promote electric trucks

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by Emily Atkins

As part of EV Week in Canada, the federal government has unveiled incentives for the purchase of medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles.

The Incentives for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles (iMHZEV) Program began on July 11. Scheduled for four years, the program, will help businesses and communities across the country make the switch to zero-emission vehicles with close to $550 million in incentives.

Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are all eligible.

Up to $200k per vehicle

It is offering purchase incentives worth approximately half of the price difference between an electric vehicle and a traditional vehicle. The incentive tops out at $200,000 per vehicle (for a class 7/8 coach), and can be combined with provincial or territorial incentives.

These incentives will apply to the purchase or lease of commercial medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles such as the Ford e-Transit cargo van, the Karsan e-Jest shuttle, the Lion8 vocational truck, the Volvo VNR-electric tractor truck, and more. Zero emission vocational on-road trucks (e.g., refuse or dump trucks) will be eligible as would yard/shunt and drayage trucks. Zero-emission shuttle or coach buses will also be eligible. Vehicles that have been converted to electric will not be eligible.

Click here to see which vehicles are eligible.

Provinces and territories, municipal and local governments, organizations, and businesses are all able to take advantage of the program, as long as they are registered in Canada. Businesses and provincial/territorial and municipal governments operating fleets are eligible for up to 10 incentives (or a maximum of $1,000,000) under the program each year.

“More and more, electric vehicles are becoming the affordable option, and our incentives can help tip the scales for anyone considering making the switch. It is both fair and good policy for businesses to also get purchase incentives for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, many of which are being produced right here in Canada,” said Steven Guilbeault, minister of environment and climate change.

Transport Canada will be hosting a webinar to discuss the details of the iMHZEV program on July 14 at 1pm EST. Registration is available.

The program supports the federal goal of having 100 percent of sales of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles be zero-emission vehicles by 2040, where feasible.

Industry support

According to a survey published in June 2022, Canadian trucking executives believe that switching away from internal combustion engines will be the top change in the industry in the next 10 years. As reported by the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the execs “expect electric trucks to become more popular for shorter routes and local destinations, but the technology could remain harder to utilize for longer haul deliveries, while others say that there will be strong pressure to reduce emissions.”

The incentives program is expected to result in annual greenhouse gas emission reductions of up to 200,000 tonnes per year in 2026, growing to three million tonnes per year by 2030.

The federal government is also proposing to provide close to $75.8 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to work with provinces and territories to develop and harmonize regulations and to conduct safety testing for long-haul zero-emission trucks.