Ontario Budget Reduces Fleet Spending, EV Incentive Program Funding

The Ontario Ministry of Finance yesterday released the province's fiscal-year 2012 budget, which includes $4.9 billion in spending cuts over three years. Among those cuts is a consolidation of two provincial programs related to electric vehicles (EVs) and some trimming to provincial fleet operations.

Ontario's Electric Vehicle Incentive Program provides subsidies – up to $2,000 – for the purchase of EVs, while the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure platform offers capital to support a wider EV charging-station network. According to the ministry, these programs have had ‘lower-than-expected uptake.’

In turn, the two initiatives will be combined to ‘improve effectiveness and efficiencies.’ Over three years, the programs will be cut by $43.1 million, but the ministry has not detailed how these cuts will affect funds availability or program eligibility.

Elsewhere in the budget, cuts are also planned for the Ministry of Transportation that will affect the Ontario Public Service (OPS) fleet.

The transportation ministry provides fleet acquisition and maintenance, along with other transportation services, through the OPS Fleet Management Centre. The finance ministry says the Fleet Management Centre is in a position to take advantage of economies of scale to ‘achieve savings while continuing to provide the same level of service.’ Cuts totaling $9.4 million over three years are planned.

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