Fat Fox co-owner Jeremy Flatt with the company's electric vehicle, a 2016 Kia Soul. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
NWT residents in nine communities now have access to a new electric vehicle rebate, on top of federal incentives, the Arctic Energy Alliance announced on Monday.
In a news release, the alliance said $5,000 rebates are available for purchases of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, plus $500 rebates for Level 2 chargers.
“When combined with federal government incentives, this means buyers can get $10,000 off the price of a new electric vehicle,” the news release stated.
You need to live in a community that uses hydroelectricity to eligible. That means the rebates apply to residents and organizations based in Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith, Behchokǫ̀, Dettah, Ndilǫ, Enterprise, Fort Resolution, or the Kátł’odeeche First Nation.
“This is because electric vehicles see the greatest savings in energy, cost and greenhouse gas emissions when using a zero-emissions power source, such as hydro,” the Arctic Energy Alliance said.
“Residents of these communities must get pre-approval from the Arctic Energy Alliance prior to purchasing their vehicle to ensure it meets the program criteria.”
There are other conditions. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price must be $55,000 or less, before options and taxes are applied, to qualify for the rebate, which is funded by the NWT government.
Electric vehicles are currently a rarity on NWT roads, not least because charging stations are only available in a handful of places. Importantly, there is no dedicated network of charging stations to ensure ease of travel through the territory’s highway system.
However, some steps toward the introduction of electric vehicles have been taken. The Arctic Energy Alliance has trialled such vehicles in Yellowknife, a private owner maintained a Tesla electric vehicle in Hay River for a time, and Yellowknife’s Fat Fox caterers have begun using an electric vehicle for deliveries.
“Transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the NWT, and adopting [electric] passenger vehicles is an excellent way to reduce those emissions,” said Mark Heyck, the Arctic Energy Alliance’s executive director.
“We’re introducing this rebate program, on top of federal incentives, to make electric vehicles a more attractive option for northerners who live in hydro communities.
“Not only will they be helping the environment, but they can save energy and save money in the process.”
The Arctic Energy Alliance is a non-for-profit funded by the NWT government but operated at arm’s length, creating programs designed to promote clean energy, energy efficiency, and energy affordability.