Hybrid vehicle expert praises provincial rebate program

An electrical engineering professor is praising the Ontario government’s move to offer rebates between $5,000 and $8,500 for the purchase or lease of new plug-in hybrid electric or battery electric vehicles.

Dr. Kar“It’s a great idea to encourage consumers to buy these kinds of cars because they can be expensive,” said Narayan Kar, an associate professor in electrical and computer engineering and Canada Research Chair in advanced hybrid drivetrain systems.

Many consumers are still unaware of both the financial and environmental benefits of hybrid electric vehicles, but greater public education along with the rebate program could change that, said Dr. Kar, who is currently researching methods of maximizing the efficiency of electric motors. And increased demand will result in greater production volume, which will help lower prices, he added.

Dr. Narayan Kar           

Ontario’s Minister of Transportation announced the rebate offer Friday morning for individuals, businesses, and organizations that purchase an electric vehicle after July 1, 2010. Rebates will be made available to the first 10,000 applicants who qualify. The government's vision is to have one out of every 20 vehicles driven in Ontario to be electrically powered by 2020.

“We've made steady progress building the groundwork for Ontario's electric vehicle market,” said transportation minister Kathleen Wynne.

The province also announced that new “green” licence plates will allow electric vehicle drivers to use less-congested carpool lanes even if there’s only one person in the car, and that it will provide future access to public recharging facilities and parking at GO stations and other government lots.

Since 2006, the province has provided more than $24 million in rebates for over 14,000 conventional hybrid vehicles through its Alternative Fuel RST Rebate Program. Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario to six percent below 1990 levels by 2014, and to 15 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.


News story courtesy of UWin Daily News