While other places are encouraging people to move towards electric vehicles, Saskatchewan does the opposite.
While many provinces are incentivizing people to switch over to pollution-free automobiles, Saskatchewan has positioned itself as an outlier by imposing a new $150 fee for all electric vehicles users.
The fee took effect Oct. 1, and is meant to ensure EV users pay their fair share for road use. The move was ridiculed by environmental advocates, who say it will discourage the shift to EVs. However, the government rationalized the move by noting drivers of gasoline-powered vehicles already contribute to road and highway maintenance through taxes on gas that go to varying levels of government, including the province.
Although $150 isn’t a huge price for many EV owners, it’s a move Joel Bruneau, a professor of economics at the University of Saskatchewan, says sends a strong negative message to anyone who may be considering a new EV. As of September, there were only 611 registered EVs in the province, compared to British Columbia, where there were 54,000 registered as of April.