FREDERICTON (GNB) – A provincial program shifted into drive today with the launch of a rebate initiative for New Brunswickers who purchase eligible electric vehicles.

Starting today, people who buy or lease eligible new or used electric vehicles from a dealer in the province will be eligible for a rebate under the New Brunswick Electric Vehicle Incentive Program.

“We committed in our Climate Change Action Plan to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and this program will help us continue to not only meet but exceed our emission targets,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman. “The program will make electric vehicles more affordable so that more people can take part in reducing our transportation emissions.”

Financial support for the three-year program, which comes from the Climate Change Fund, will be approved annually. For fiscal 2021-22, $1.95 million was approved.

People who purchase or lease new qualifying battery electric vehicles and long-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles may receive up to $5,000. People who purchase or lease new short-range plug-in hybrids may receive up to $2,500.

Those who buy used battery electric vehicles may receive up to $2,500 and purchasers of used plug-in hybrid electric vehicles may receive up to $1,000.

“This incentive program will help New Brunswickers purchase an electric vehicle and it will help us meet our target of 20,000 electric vehicles by 2030,’’ said Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. “This really is where the rubber meets the road.”

NB Power will initially administer the rebate program, which will provide rebates retroactively to individuals and organizations who purchase vehicles. Later this fall, dealers will provide the rebate directly to those purchasing qualifying vehicles.

Consumers who buy an eligible new electric vehicle in New Brunswick can also apply to the federal government’s Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program, resulting in up to $10,000 in combined rebates.

“We are pleased to partner with the Province of New Brunswick to deliver the Plug-In NB program,” said Keith Cronkhite, president and CEO of NB Power. “As New Brunswickers, we believe the electrification of transportation is key to a sustainable energy future. We are proud to encourage this shift by providing information and advice to our customers while supporting a charging network that enables EV drivers to travel all across New Brunswick.”

Cronkhite said the province already has an extensive charging network with a fast-charging station located about every 63 kilometres on all major routes. There are 196 Level 2 chargers and 87 Level 3 DC fast chargers.

“Today’s announcement is a positive step in the right direction to increase zero-emission vehicles uptake in the province,” said Ian Hatheway president of the New Brunswick Automobile Dealers’ Association. “The provincial incentive stacked with the federal incentive will certainly help address a key barrier to electric vehicles adoption, which is cost.”

People who receive a provincial electric vehicle rebate are also eligible for a rebate of up to $750 for the purchase and installation of a Level 2 home charging station.

New Brunswick will be using Transport Canada’s list of eligible vehicles.