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Ottawa's zero-emission vehicle incentives to go into effect May 1

An Enercity AG electric vehicle charging station stands as the new Volkswagen AG (VW) e-Crafter electric truck are presented in Hamburg, Germany, on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018. The worlds largest automaker in April approved plans to ready its truck and bus division to access capital markets, part of a broader strategic overhaul at VW set to carry through to 2025. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Starting May 1, Canadians will be able to get an incentive worth up to $5,000 towards the purchase of a zero-emission vehicle.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Thursday that the government’s three-year, $300 million incentive program, which was originally unveiled in the March federal budget, will go into effect beginning May 1.

Under the plan, the government will provide up to $5,000 towards the purchase of plug-in hybrid, electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, as long as the manufacturer’s suggested retail price is less than $45,000. Vehicles that would qualify include the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf.

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Garneau said Thursday that the government is still determining the exact way the incentive will be distributed.

“We are working at lightning speed so that by the first of May it will be completely clear how that money will be reimbursed,” Garneau said, adding that the customers will be able to find additional details closer to May 1 on the government’s website.

“We’re exploring the best way to do it, the most efficient way,”

The government also announced in the 2019 budget that it will expand the network of zero-emission charging and refuelling stations, providing $130 million over five years towards deployment of new stations.

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