Canadian car buyers now have more choices if they want
to purchase a new vehicle that meets the federal government's green
Thirty-two vehicles from the 2008 model year now qualify for the
government's ecoAUTO Rebate Program, up from 21 last year.
The program gives Canadians cash rebates ranging from $1,000 to
$2,000 on the purchase or long-term lease of vehicles that the
federal government deems fuel-efficient.
The program, which shifted into gear last March, also includes
vehicles from the 2006 and 2007 model years.
While last year's list was dominated by small Toyota models like
the Yaris, Corolla, Camry Hybrid and Prius, this year the Smart car
coupe and convertible, the Nissan Rogue, Chevrolet HHR and Canada's
best selling car, the Honda Civic, are among those that have zoomed
onto the list.
Last year, Honda's only vehicle to qualify for the rebate was the
Civic Hybrid but this year it's a new deal for the automaker as the
two-door and four-door manual transmission Honda Civic get Ottawa's
environmental stamp of approval.
Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon said the program helps
Canadian motorists make eco-friendly choices that put more green
into their wallets as well.
``The ecoAUTO Rebate Program is one example of how this
government is encouraging Canadians to make more environmentally
friendly transportation choices. It also saves them money and
protects their health and the environment,'' said Cannon in a
Depending on the vehicle, some 2008 models have a higher rebate
than their 2007 counterparts. For example, the Saturn VUE Hybrid
2.4-litre, four-cylinder, four-speed automatic now qualifies for a
$2,000 rebate, compared to $1,000 for the 2007 model, which gets
fewer kilometres to the litre than its 2008 counterpart.
The 2008 Highlander Hybrid is eligible for a $1,500 rebate, up
$500 from the 2007 model after Toyota boosted its fuel efficiency.
Transport Canada says to qualify for a rebate cheque, new
passenger cars must have a combined city-highway fuel consumption of
6.5 litres per 100 kilometres or less while for new minivans, sport
utility vehicles and other light trucks, it's 8.3 litres per 100
kilometres or less.
Flex-fuel vehicles _ ones that operate on gasoline or a blend of
85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent gasoline _ must have a combined
city-highway E85 fuel consumption rating of 13 litres per 100
kilometres or less.
The vehicles also must have been bought in Canada.
Toyota said it's happy the federal government is extending the
``Efforts to reduce society's environmental footprint are most
effective when all stakeholders work together,'' said Stephen
Beatty, managing director of Toyota Canada, in a statement.
``This policy encourages both consumers and manufacturers to seek
greater fuel-efficiencies,'' said Beatty.
Some automakers didn't make Ottawa's green grade including Mazda,
Hyundai and Kia.
Application forms for the rebate are available online
(www.ecoaction.gc.ca/ecoauto) or at vehicle dealers.
A full list of qualifying vehicles is available online
The feebate program also slaps a maximum levy of $4,000 on SUVs
and other gas guzzlers but pickup trucks are exempt.
Ontario, Manitoba and some other provinces already have existing
incentive programs that offer rebates when a hybrid vehicle is