Quebec has slightly missed the target of placing 100,000 electric cars on the road

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More and more Quebec highway vehicles, just not enough the province had anticipated, have green license plates these days.  As of December 31, 2020, the government’s target was to get 100,000 plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles on the road; it would end 2020 with 92,000. The numbers were given by the Quebec Electric Vehicle Association (AVEQ), which releases up-to-date data on the province’s transport electrification program. While Quebec came up short of the specified goal, it was close enough even for Simon-Pierre Rioux, founder, and president of AVEQ. He stated, “We achieved our target.”

Rioux stated Quebec, now referred as Roulez vert, has evolved since introducing its first reward scheme in 2012 to encourage electric vehicles in the province. “There seem to be several hurdles to purchasing an electric vehicle, whether it’s the added expenses relative to a gasoline-powered automobile, the anemic charging facilities, the non – availability at dealerships,” he explained, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed automotive purchases in the last months of the year.

Robert Poëti, a former member of the provincial cabinet who leads the business association representing the province’s car dealers, disputes with that appraisal. As per Poëti, there is no true connection between Quebec’s failure to reach 100,000 as well as COVID-19. “From the month of May to the present, COVID seems not to affect vehicles sold in my view,” stated the Corporation des concessionaires d’automobiles du Québec’s president (CCEQ). At the height of the pandemic, consumers made an online purchase so that their cars were available as companies reopened. The only challenge with Poëti is that so many people can’t buy an electric car.

“People who own [an electric vehicle], they are men whose average age is 46 years,” he added. “Their salary is between $70,000 to $80,000.” Among all the other reasons that could have curbed the interest of customers in recent times: a comparatively modest amount of charging points, the vast geography of Quebec as well as the restricted range of electric vehicles, which reduces during severe cold periods, noted Poëti. He said, “I cannot bring Gaspésie nearer to Quebec, and I cannot bring Abitibi closer to Montreal.”

The positive thing is that the waiting lists at dealerships are getting shorter for electric cars. “We have noted in recent weeks that some automakers have gone out of their way, and we are beginning to see progress,” stated Rioux of AVEQ. He admitted that the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is still huge, but over the last decade, it has increasingly become easier for several carmakers to manufacture them. Rioux added, “Apart from increasing the range of cars, we have tried to decrease the price.” “They are the only automobiles on the marketplace whose price is decreasing.”

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