Quebec Wants Used Electric Cars

The feisty Canadian province is offering rebates on used electric cars not previously registered in Quebec.

© 2016 Nissan

We all know that batteries only last so long. Whether it's the battery that starts your car, the one in your laptop computer, or the one that causes your smoke detector to beep loudly every six months. It's science: all batteries wear out eventually. 

One of the disadvantages of an electric car is the expense of replacing its batteries when they wear out. But the Canadian province of Quebec wants to help ease those concerns, and they're putting their money where their mouth is. They recently announced a pilot rebate program offering up to $4,000 Canadian to the first 1,000 people to register a used electric car in Quebec during the next year.

Of course, certain requirements apply. One is that the car must be a new registration in Quebec. The government does not want to issue a rebate for the same car twice, so eligible cars must be imported from other provinces, or from the US. They must also be from 2013 or 2014, purchased or leased through a dealer, and be under warranty for at least three years or 40,000 kilometers after purchase. The Truth About Cars reported that used Nissan Leafs are already appearing in dealer showrooms that offer this rebate, but the provincial web site provides a list of several eligible electric cars, including the BMW i3, the Chevrolet Spark, the Ford Focus Electric, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Smart fortwo Electric, and the Tesla Model S (60 and 85 kWh versions only).

Some electric vehicles, particularly the older Nissan Leaf, do have limited range. But they could be an excellent choice for fighting traffic across the island of Montreal. Used cars already cost less than new ones, and a $4,000 incentive on top of that might be just what pushes some drivers to swap their gas burners for used electric cars to sit in the Décarie parking lot Boulevard.