Feds introduce new incentive for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks

The federal government is broadening its financial support for zero-emission vehicles beyond the consumer market through a $550-million incentive program that will help businesses buy or lease electric commercial vehicles ranging from full-sized pickups to semitrucks.

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra introduced the Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles (iMHZEV) program at a press conference in London, Ont. July 11, describing the initiative as a “win-win-win” for businesses, the environment and Canada’s auto industry.

“Today’s announcement is about making sure that Canadian businesses and leaders of our communities have the options they need to transform their fleets to zero-emission vehicles,” Alghabra said in a release.

Transport Canada said the four-year program is designed to make up about 50 per cent of the price difference between a conventional gasoline or diesel commercial vehicle and a ZEV. It is one part of Ottawa’s plan to convert all sales of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to zero-emissions by 2040.

Unlike the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) program, the comparable initiative for consumers that offers a flat $2,500 off plug-in hybrids or $5,000 off battery-electric vehicles, the iMHZEV program takes a tiered approach.

Class 2B ZEVs, a category encompassing full-size pickups and utility vans weighing between 8,501 and 10,000 pounds (3,856 and 4,536 kilograms) are eligible for an incentive of up to $10,000. Class 3 trucks and vans with curb weights of between 10,001 and 14,000 pounds (4,537 and 6,350 kilograms) could receive as much as $40,000.

The value of the incentive is determined by the term of the lease. Vehicles bought outright or leased for 48 months are eligible for the full amount.

The program is available to businesses, governments, and other organizations, and the incentive is applied at the point-of sale.

Larger classes of trucks, vans and buses are eligible for far more. Zero-emission Class 8 semitrucks could receive up to $150,000 from Ottawa, while coach buses could get up to $200,000.

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