Thursday, February 19, 2009

No Clean Energy Incentives for BEV Conversions

I've been getting quotes on the Thundersky batteries to compare prices when purchasing directly from China, the US or from Canada. The only Canadian vendor I have come across is actually affiliated with a Phoenix, Arizona based company named Elite Power Solutions. If I where to buy from outside Canada, the cost adds up with the US currency exchange rate, customs duties (7%), GST (5%), and PST (7.5%). I contacted BIS (Border Information Service) to confirm the taxes and duties applicable to batteries manufactured outside North America. It seems one has no choice but to purchase from outside of North America (example China) because most if not all of the manufacturers making similar batteries in North America do not sell to individuals like me. Even companies in our own backyards are turning away people preferring to deal only with large automobile manufacturers.

I came across a battery pack maker named Tek Battery also known as ev-battery based in California who use the A123 high energy density Lithium Ion batteries (cells are made in China) as well as other similar OEM batteries soon to come.

I spoke with a fellow named John who was very courteous and provided interesting insight during our recent telephone conversation. I was told that it takes approximately 3 lbs of these cells per mile of range. Example; 40 miles of range x 3 lbs = 120 lbs (2 strings or 124 volts / 4s6pev model). If I remember correctly, this is 20 batteries per string. They are guaranteed for 5000 cycles and can be completely discharged without harm. They also include built-in cell balancing/BMS. At first I thought these packs were more affordable than the Thundersky batteries but I was mistaken. A decent pack would run between $22,000-$24,000 US. This is way over my budget but I do admit that this is probably the best type of battery solution out there right now. I have to be very careful not to get carried away and remind myself that I am the sole bread earner in a family of four and must be very prudent with our finances.

So what about tax credits or clean energy incentives or subsidies?

Well, there are none that I can take advantage of in my area as a Battery Electric Vehicle converter.

It is disappointing and even embarrassing to know that there are absolutely no incentives whatsoever in Canada if you use clean battery electric energy for road transportation. I looked high and low only to find two programs that apply to road transportation.

1. Excise Tax Exemption for Ethanol and Methanol
2. Provincial Sales Tax Exemption for Hybrid Vehicles

The tax Exemption for Hybrid vehicles is called the "ecoAuto Rebate Program"

QST rebate for hybrid vehicles

Environment Canada's Incentives and Rebates Search

Natural Resources Canada Personal Vehicle Initiatives

Government of Canada ecoTransport

To be eligible, you must purchase a new car or "Prescribed New Automobile" which is defined as follows:

"A prescribed new automobile vehicle powered by the combination of a heat engine and an electric motor. The vehicle's fuel consumption on the highway or in the city is six litres or less per 100 kilometres".

That's all for now....going out to buy a lottery ticket.


1 comment:

Nick Drouin said...

Regarding TS Lithium imports, you'll want to talk to Douglas Hartly in Montreal.

I have his contact info. Drop me a line.

-Nick Drouin