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Rebates for electric vehicle owners

Group hopes giving rebates to EV owners would increase environmental-friendly cars.
EV photo1
Non-profit groups hope to see an increase of electric vehicles in the province.

SASKATOON — The Small Change Fund has started reimbursing owners of electric vehicles (EV), who paid the province’s new EV tax, as part of a campaign to convince the provincial government into delaying the collection of said tax.

The refund began on Oct. 1 and EV car owners who paid the annual $150 registration tax will be reimbursed by the non-profit, according to environmental economist and Saskatchewan Environmental Society spokesperson Joel Brueneau.

"This is a non-profit [organization] that believes in doing things that are good for the environment," said Brueneau, who works for the SES as a free agent. 

SES is pushing for the Saskatchewan government to postpone collecting taxes from EV owners, a move that would further promote an alternative in using environment-friendly automobiles in the province.

Brueneau said the reimbursements will come from a pool of donated funds from the SCF, as a message to the provincial government.

Both the SES and SCF are hoping the provincial government will delay collecting the tax until the number of EVs in the province increases. There are currently 600 EVs in the province where the $150 is collected, which translates to $90,000 in revenues for Saskatchewan.

SES has used a tongue-in-cheek campaign where an imagined action group “Saskatchewanians for Sidewalk Sustenance” is demanding the province impose an annual fee for sidewalk use. 

The campaign hopes to raise awareness that collecting an EV tax is not advisable right now.

Encouraging car owners to look into EVs as an alternative mode of transportation would benefit the province, since it will increase the taxes collected and help aside from helping the environment with less fuel-powered automobiles.

“They [SCF] believe that the EV tax is a bad idea. And so, they're willing to put their own money where their beliefs are,” said Brueneau.

EV owners have to apply to get the refund. The refund is available by visiting where only EV owners can register, and they must have proof that they paid the $150 fee.

The campaign will be for a certain period of time, but the main thing is highlighting the idea of suspending the EV tax.

SCF President Burkhard Mausberg, in a statement, said their move to refund EV car owners sends a powerful message to the provincial government. 

“If you can’t be part of the solution, others will step up to fix your short-sighted act. As far as we can tell, this kind of refund has never been done, but it had to be — this tax at this time is simply the wrong message.”

“What’s more, the Saskatchewan government will also consider applying a tax at charging stations. This, at a time when Saskatchewan has all the elements needed to become a national leader in the EV field."

"They’re driving in reverse. They’ll use the funds to take action on the climate crisis, something EVs were designed to do. EVs make money for auto dealers, infrastructure installers and manufacturers, utilities, the mining sector… they’re the future.”