Helping Canadians go green
Federal government's rebate plan for fuel-efficient vehicles could spur sales of cleaner cars
PEDRO ARRAIS, CanWest News Service
Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies drives one. Actress Cameron Diaz has one. So does environmentalist David Suzuki. They're environmentally friendly cars, and thanks to changes in federal policies, more Canadians will be jumping on the green bandwagon.
For the first time, the federal government is offering rebates between $1,000 and $2,000 for consumers buying or leasing top fuel-efficient cars and trucks, the best of which is the Toyota Prius with a combined fuel consumption rating of 4.1 litres per 100 kilometres.
Driving fuel-efficient vehicles means Canadians will produce significantly less carbon dioxide, nitrogen, benzene and other components that make up the bulk of greenhouse gases - a likely cause of global warming.
Under the Transport Canada program, called ecoAuto, gasoline-powered cars that get 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres or better, and light trucks that get 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres or better qualify for the rebates. More than half of the 17 vehicles listed as eligible for the $160-million, two-year program are gasoline-electric hybrid cars. But hybrids - cars that are powered by a combination of a gasoline engine and electric motor - are not the only vehicles eligible for rebates.