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driving concerns

I want an affordable electric vehicle with at least 400 kilometres of range. Are there EVs with that much range that qualify for rebates? Also, I’m confused about how rebates work. Does the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) include the rebate? Do I buy the car and then apply for the rebate? – Marcus, Calgary

While you can get 830 kilometres of range in a Lucid Air Grand Touring for more than $200,000, you can still get plenty of range for about a quarter of that price.

Of the nearly two dozen 2023 model-year electric vehicles that appear on Transport Canada’s list of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) eligible for the full $5,000 federal rebate, at least 10 get more than 400 kilometres of range in ideal conditions.

To qualify for the federal rebate, a passenger car has to have a base model with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of less than $55,000 and the trim you buy can’t cost more than $65,000, before added options and dealer extras, according to Transport Canada’s website.

For station wagons, pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans, that increases to $60,000 for the base model and $70,000 for higher trims.

“They have to have a base version available (at that price),” said Daniel Breton, chief executive officer of Electric Mobility Canada, a Montreal-based national non-profit that promotes EV ownership. “It has to be in the books, but it doesn’t have to be available at the dealership.”

For example, before the cut off for base models was raised to $55,000 from $45,000 last year, Tesla offered a $44,999 Model 3 that was software-limited to 151 kilometres in range, solely so the car could qualify for the rebate.

“You could order one, but hardly anyone bought it,” Breton said.

Now, Tesla offers a $54,990 rear-wheel drive 2023 Model 3 with 438 kilometres of range that qualifies for the rebate.

“Now their base version is admissible [to the federal rebate program] and they’re selling a ton of them,” Breton said.

On the list of 2023 BEVs that qualify for the full federal rebate, there are a few with a range of more than 400 kilometres.

These include the BMW i4 eDrive 35 (412 kilometres), Chevrolet Bolt EV LT (417), Hyundai Ioniq 5 Long Range AWD (428), Hyundai Ioniq 6 Long Range AWD (509), Hyundai Kona electric (415), Kia EV6 RWD Long Range (499), Nissan Ariya (490), Polestar 2 (435 for RWD, 418 for AWD) and Volkswagen ID.4 (443 RWD, 410 AWD).

The Chevrolet Bolt EV LT, which will be discontinued later this year, is the least expensive on the list at $41,542, including freight but before taxes. With the federal rebate, it would be $5,000 less.

The rebate applies to new cars only. It’s not included in the posted MSRP – although some carmakers, including General Motors, calculate it when you build a vehicle on their websites.

If your vehicle is on the rebate list, the dealer will automatically deduct the rebate when you buy the car. Once you’ve claimed the federal rebate, you cannot also claim an income tax write-off for an EV you are using for business.

Seven provinces and territories – British Columbia, Yukon, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland – offer their own incentives, with their own rules, on top of the federal incentive.

“From one province to another, that’s where things get more complicated,” Breton said.

For instance, B.C. offers a $4,000 rebate on BEVs if your income is less than $80,000 a year – but the amount decreases the more you make.

Other details vary. For instance, in Newfoundland and Labrador, you have to apply for the rebate after you buy the vehicle instead of just getting it at the dealership.

Have a driving question? Send it to and put ‘Driving Concerns’ in your subject line. Emails without the correct subject line may not be answered. Canada’s a big place, so let us know where you are so we can find the answer for your city and province.

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