Drivers got excited this weekend as the fifth edition of the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show pulled up to Olympic Stadium, featuring innovations for cars, bikes and scooters.
The floor of the Big O was overflowing with thousands of Montrealers checking and testing just about every new electric or hybrid vehicle on the market. People were also able to test a multitude of models of electric bikes and scooters on the stadium’s indoor track.
As participants weighed their options, all were concerned about the same two things.
“With gas prices, it’s really expensive, so we’re trying to find a new way to change our way of life, our way of life,” said customer Alyssa Jung.
For François Camirand, it was the environmental impact of gasoline-powered vehicles that prompted him to take the leap.
“We have to go electric because of climate change,” said Camirand, whose lease on his gas-powered car comes up in December.
“Why wait? Let’s make the move now.”
But while interest in electric cars has increased recently, so have wait times.
“You have certain models for which you have to wait a year, a year and a half,” said Louis Bernard, co-promoter of the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show, which runs until Sunday.
“All the new models…People can’t go there [to] a dealership and find a car and have [the] choice of color and all.”
Jonathan Muccigrosso said he reserved an electric car months ago, but he doesn’t expect to see it until this fall.
“Actually, we booked the [Hyundai IONIQ 5] and I think it’s been six months since… We will receive the car in October.”
Camirand said he did his homework and found the wait for a Tesla was six months.
“Other vehicles, you don’t know. You put your name on a list and keep your fingers crossed you’ll have a vehicle within a year. So that’s a problem.”
Quebec is preparing to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 in a bid to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. He also wants to have 1.5 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030.
On Friday, the federal government announced new measures that could help Quebec achieve these goals.
Starting Monday, the government is expanding its electric vehicle rebate program to include larger vehicles such as vans, SUVs and trucks that were not previously eligible.
The rebate of up to $5,000 will be extended to cars with a base model price of less than $55,000 and SUVs, pickups and vans with a base model price of less than $60,000.
In addition to the price cap expansion, the full $5,000 rebate will now also be offered to hybrid vehicles with an electric range of 50 kilometers or more.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said about four in five Canadians are interested in making their next vehicle purchase an electric model, but a little help is needed to boost sales.
For Quebecers, the federal rebate combined with the $8,000 rebate from the province could represent a financial incentive of up to $13,000 to purchase electricity.
Bernard encouraged people to buy early and for the Quebec government to increase its number of charging stations to prepare for an anticipated increase in electric vehicles on the road.