More and more motorists are going electric by having their old gas-guzzler converted into an electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Some say the owners of these converted electric cars deserve a tax rebate from the government, just like buyers of factory-made EVs and PHEVs get.
Converted electric cars in Canada
The electric conversion business is one that is likely to pick up with time. Brian Kirk showed his EV-converted white 1983 Porsche 944 at the EV Fest Electric Vehicle Show in Toronto last week. It is also the calling card for his company, Singular Motion EV, which ultimately wants to be solvent just doing EV conversions.
Kirk told Metro News that his modified Porsche is faster now than it ever was when it drank gasoline:
“We wanted to prove the point that electric cars are not slow.”
Don Singh also paraded his EV-converted 1985 Jaguar XJ6 at the same event. Likewise, he was drumming up interest in an EV conversion company called Epic Car Conversions.
EV tax rebates
However, at this point the federal government does not acknowledge the efforts of conversion EV motorists to reduce their carbon footprint and decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. Someone who makes less than $100,000 that buys a Leaf from Nissan or a Focus from Ford, Brooklyn to San Diego, gets a tax rebate of $7,500 from the federal government. Why shouldn’t the conversion EV driver be able to receive a similar rebate to offset the cost of conversion?
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To that end, a group of EV conversion drivers is petitioning the White House for a similar tax rebate. The Equal Incentives for Conversions petition states:
“While the Federal government should continue providing Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicles tax incentives for new plug-in vehicles, they should extend the same incentives to EV/plug-in conversions. Conversions target 250M existing vehicles on the roads, can save over 40 percent of fuel use or no fuel at all, have a smaller carbon footprint than new car since they reuse most of the original vehicle, and cost less to buy as an incremental expense, making plug-in more affordable.”
Could meet resistance
However, the petition may meet resistance. According to Torque News, giving tax rebates to EV conversions dilutes the mass adoption of EVs and PHEVs that the federal government would like to see happen. Also, it competes with the automobile industry. In addition, since converted cars have already been manufactured, they posed less threat to the environment before conversion than do new mass-produced internal combustion cars now.