With increasing concerns about rising fuel prices and climate change/global warming, interest in electric vehicles is at an all-time high, as people consider less expensive options for fueling their vehicles and releasing less carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.
Popular options range from plug-in hybrids to fully electric vehicles, both of which can be charged at home or anywhere there’s an electrical outlet to plug into.
To entice people out of vehicles that exclusively burn fossil fuels, the British Columbia government is offering some incentives. Through the CEVforBC program, an incentive of $3,000 off the pre-sticker price of a vehicle is available to B.C. residents, businesses, non-profit organizations and local governments purchasing or leasing a new battery electric vehicle, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a battery range of more than 85 km. The savings is reduced to $1,500 for the purchase or lease of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a battery range of less than 85 km. The incentive is only available for eligible vehicles with a MSRP below $55,000.B.C. residents who have recently installed a home electric vehicle (EV) charger in their house, may also be eligible for a $350 incentive from the provincial government and (for a limited time) a matching $350 from BC Hydro. Charger rebate programs offering up to $2,000 are also in place for the purchase and installation of EV chargers in workplaces and condo/apartment buildings.
Buyers of new battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and plug-in hybrids may also be eligible for rebates from the federal government in the range of $2,500 to $5,000. In this case, the vehicle MSRP cannot exceed $45,000 unless there are more than seven seats.
For corporations purchasing hybrids, fully electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, the federal government is allowing them to write off the entire expense, up to $55,000, in the first year, points out Sharlane Bailey, Owner of Canwest Accounting. She has looked into replacing Canwest Accounting’s fuel-efficient Smart car with a fully-electric car. However, when she compared lease rates between the options, the cost of fuel, as well as the initial start-up costs for installing an EV charger in her home since there isn’t one at the office, she decided an electric vehicle doesn’t make financial sense at this point for her business vehicle, which is used for accounting and bookkeeping pickups and deliveries.
“My recommendation is to do your research and determine whether an electric vehicle is the right fit for your business and/or personal needs,” said Sharlane. “You want to consider what distance range you need and what vehicles provide that. Also, which car fits your needs best and is it cost-effective at this time?”
She adds that for those who may be charging their business vehicle at home, it is difficult to determine what portion of electricity you are using to fuel your vehicle in order to use that as a business expense.
For those weighing the pros and cons of buying or leasing a vehicle for company use, you may find this article helpful:
The suggestions and advice provided by Canwest Accounting should not be relied upon in place of professional advice. You are responsible for checking the accuracy of relevant facts and opinions provided.