What do the numbers behind the Canadian iZEV program tell us?
While the federal government may be particularly deficient in some areas of record keeping (how does the Access to Information Act work on Parliament Hill, huh?), it seems they are on the right track. keeping an eye on the iZEV program since its inception in May 2019 Tons of data is publicly available – check it out here if you want to see for yourself. For readers who don’t want to be blind to the spreadsheets, we’re glad we broke down the data for you.
These numbers are current to the end of March 2022. We chose this date because it is the last full month of the original iZEV program before the new eligibility rules come into effect in the last week of ‘april. Our goal is to extract some notable details from around 150,000 rows of data – specifically information focused on total spend, regional quirks, and popular vehicles. Buckle up, stats nerds; the numbers abound.
Nearly 150,000 discounts distributed
A total of 141,873 rebates have been issued through iZEV since the program began, totaling just over $611 million in government largesse. Not all of these reimbursements were for the maximum amount of $5,000. Some Canadians were only entitled to $2,500. This lower sum would have been calculated either based on the size of a vehicle’s battery (less than 15 kWh) or if the customer had chosen a short-term rental instead of an outright purchase.
If you think Canadians like buying cars in the summer, you’re right. The month with the most activity was August 2021, when 7,099 discounts were requested. Sixty days later, it was just as robust, with 6,940 requests for iZEV funds. Predictably, the onset of the pandemic saw a demand crater, although there were still 1,108 souls who managed to brave COVID and close dealerships for an EV in April 2020. Even with this decline, which lasted several months, the program has seen an average of just over 4,000 requests per month since its launch.
For reasons known only to bedwetting accountants, the iZEV program can be modified to provide an odd discount based on the terms of a loan or vehicle purchase. For example, while the figures of $2,500 and $5,000 are widely known, some buyers have ended up with odd amounts such as $2,031 or $3,437. Most reimbursements were made up of so-called “normal” figures, with 72.3% receiving five thousand dollars from the government and 27% receiving half that amount.
Discerning readers won’t be surprised to learn that Doug Ford’s decision to scrap Ontario’s provincial EV rebate has had a massive effect on EV sales in that region. Despite being home to the lion’s share of this country’s residents (and their cars), the loyalist province has seen 17,931 claims, just 12.6% of the total since May 2019.
How does this contrast with Quebec and British Columbia, two places where provincial aid is added to federal funds? Try 76,836 and 41,382 – or 54.2 and 29.1% respectively. Ford may have snapped its jaws lately that Ontario is poised to become a North American electric vehicle manufacturing hub, but the hard numbers clearly show that electric vehicle sales are being severely impacted by its policies. Maybe he could pour money into such a program instead of free license plate stickers and a buck-a-beer campaign.
Elsewhere, the Northwest Territories accounts for 17 claims and Nunavut does not rank at all. Together, the four Atlantic provinces account for just under 2,000 iZEV recipients, with a recent uptick in take-up through BC-style provincial rebate programs in most parts of the East. . Truck-loving Prairie residents have availed themselves of just 3,635 rebates since May 2019.
Tesla tops the list
A total of 16 different brands have dipped a wheel into iZEV, running the alphabet from Audi to Volkswagen.
Given Tesla’s volume and popularity, it should come as no surprise to learn that these cars have received around 40,800 documents, which equates to 28.8% of the program so far.
Or maybe he should be surprising. After a price increase in November 2021, the Tesla Model 3 no longer qualified for iZEV under the old rules. Still, a total of 5,469 transactions for Model 3 sedans received discounts between December 2021 and March 2022. Tesla notes that orders for the car placed before the price hike were expected to remain eligible and it appears that confidence was warranted. In total, the government has spent more than $27.3 million on Tesla Model 3s since they were officially removed from the eligibility list. We’ll refer you to iZEV’s new price cap for this car’s future eligibility for the program, despite Musk’s propensity to play unpredictably with his fleet’s pricing.
In other showrooms, Hyundai and Toyota cleaned up, accounting for 26,742 and 20,807 rebate requests, respectively. While the Japanese giant only has two models in its workforce – the RAV4 Prime and the Prius Prime – our Korean friends have had no fewer than nine models in-game since the program began, ranging from current models like the angular Ioniq 5 and other efforts like Sonata PHEV.