Montreal Electric Vehicle Show moves into Olympic Stadium as demand for cars rises

·3 min read
Just about every new electric or hybrid vehicle on the market is on display at the fifth edition of the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show at the Olympic Stadium this weekend.  (Josh Grant/CBC News - image credit)
Just about every new electric or hybrid vehicle on the market is on display at the fifth edition of the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show at the Olympic Stadium this weekend. (Josh Grant/CBC News - image credit)

Drivers were revved up this weekend as the fifth edition of the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show parked itself at the Olympic Stadium, boasting innovation for cars, bicycles and scooters.

The floor of the Big O overflowed with thousands of Montrealers checking out, and testing, just about every new electric or hybrid vehicle on the market. People could also test a host of models of e-bikes and scooters at the stadium's indoor track.

As attendees weighed their options, all were concerned about the same two things.

"With the price of gas, it's really expensive, so we're trying to find a new way to change our way of life, our lifestyle," said shopper Alyssa Jung.

For François Camirand, it was the environmental impact of gas-powered vehicles that enticed him to make the switch.

"We have to move to electric because of climate change," said Camirand, whose lease on his gas car is coming up in December.

"Why wait? Let's make the move now."

But while interest in electric cars has soared recently, so have wait-times.

"You have certain models who you have to wait one year, one year and a half," said Louis Bernard, co-promoter of the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show, which runs until Sunday.

"All the new models ... People can't go [to] a dealer and find a car and have [the] choice of the colour and everything."

Jonathan Muccigrosso said he reserved an electric car months ago, but he doesn't expect to see it until this fall.

"We actually reserved the [Hyundai IONIQ 5] and I think it's been six months since ... We'll receive the car in like October."

CBC News
CBC News

Camirand said he did his homework and found that the wait for a Tesla is six months.

"Other vehicles, you don't know. You put your name on a list and you cross your fingers that you're going to get a vehicle within a year. So that's a problem."

Quebec is set to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 as it aims to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. It also wants to have 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

On Friday, the federal government announced new measures that might help Quebec reach those goals.

Starting Monday, the government is expanding its electric vehicle rebate program to include larger vehicles such as vans, SUVs and trucks which previously had not qualified.

Josh Grant/CBC News
Josh Grant/CBC News

The rebate of up to $5,000 will be extended to cars with a base model price below $55,000 and to SUVs, pickup trucks and minivans with a base model price below $60,000.

In addition to the price cap expansion, the full $5,000 rebate will now also be offered to hybrid vehicles with an electric range of 50 kilometres or more.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said about four in five Canadians are interested in making their next vehicle purchase an electric model, but a little help is needed to boost sales.

For Quebecers, the federal rebate combined with the $8,000 rebate from the province could equal a financial incentive of up to $13,000 to buy electric.

Bernard encouraged people to buy early and for the Quebec government to increase its number of charging stations to prepare for an anticipated surge of electric vehicles on the road.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting