Over the last few years, Quebec has quietly become the electric car capital of Canada. Half of all electric cars sold in the country has been sold in the Province. This is all in thanks to one of the most generous incentive programs in Country. Quebec had offered an $8000 rebate to all fully electric vehicles, but since April 1st, the rebate amount is regulated by price. The current rebate sits at $8000 for vehicles under $75,000 retail cost, $3000 for vehicles worth between $75,000 and less than $125,000, and vehicles $125,000 and over are no longer eligible for a government sponsored rebate. However, the most interesting part of this story is the region of Lanaudiere, a region just 6 km north of Montreal. The Bourgeois Chevrolet, in the town of Rawdon which is situated in the region, sells more electric cars than any other traditional dealership in Canada.
The dealership had made a decision to focus on electric cars a few years ago in order to grow the business. The business eventually attracted a following which saw customers coming from all the west coast, British Columbia. Co-owner Hugo Jeanson "I don't know why the other dealerships are not embracing the movement and the turn in technologies, but I'm not complaining." The dealership sold almost 400 new and used electric cars last year, half of all cars sold from the dealership. Most of the sales has been from the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt, the top selling electric vehicle in Canada.
But other factors have helped the dealership grow their business and the province see a higher adoption rate than the others. Aside from the rebates, electricity is relatively cheap in the province due to the abundance of hydro power. And the Quebecois traditionally have prided themselves as being environmentally sensible. On Monday, multiple cabinet ministers were on hand to announce an additional $4.4 million over the next five years investment into the industry. The money will be spent to promote research and development, design and manufacturing of electric cars in the province. The $4.4 million is an addition to the $70.2 million over the next two years on the Drive Electric program. The programs includes infrastructure incentives for businesses and private owners to receive some sort of rebate or MSRP rebates. Quebec has no intention of withdrawing from this path and we will see more investments into the electric car market from the province's legislature.