The green alternative to the traditional vehicle is surging in Saskatchewan, as sales of electric vehicles have doubled across the province.
“It’s absolutely fantastic news,” founder of the Saskatchewan Electric Vehicle Association, Matthew Pointer said. “We’re expecting the Q2 sales for Saskatchewan and the rest of Canada to pretty much come close to doubling again.”
Typically, Saskatchewan lags behind other provinces like Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, where more people are making the switch.
But with 18 sales in the first quarter, more than 200 plug-in vehicles have now been sold in across the province.
Seven months ago, Pointer went from the pump to the plug, after he traded in his gas-powered vehicle for a fully electric Tesla Model 3.
“The biggest thing I’ve noticed since owning this car definitely is my cost of ownership,” Pointer said. “I drove it all winter and since I’ve been driving it I’ve saved at least $2,000 in fuel and maintenance.”
Pointer says people are becoming more informed and starting to take advantage of the new $5,000 federal rebate that came into effect May 1.
“It really helps us and it makes these cars a lot more cost-effective,” Pointer said.
The rebates will take up to $5,000 off the cost of electric vehicles and $2,500 off plug-in hybrids. The rebates initially applied to cars that cost less than $45,000, but Ottawa raised that to $55,000 in order to increase options for buyers.
Currently, the top three best sellers are the Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona and Mitsubishi Outlander.
Still, groups like SaskEV say if you look at the list of eligible vehicles online, only half are available in Saskatchewan.
“Certainly seeing more dealers offer the vehicles, having more availability of vehicles on the lot for test drives and people to pick up that would help,” SaskEV lead organizer Jason Cruickshank said.
While strides are being made, Cruickshank says there are other opportunities to boost sales.
“We’re seeing more fast charging infrastructure coming into the province over the next year here, but there are still some areas we would like to see some improvements in,” Cruickshank said.
Including adding high speed charging stations on Highways 7, 11 and 16, as well as the introduction of stackable purchase incentives from the provincial government.
Elsewhere in Canada, the country broke the 100,000 mark for total electric vehicle sales which now holds at 1.89 per cent market share.