Press Release: Saskatchewanians ask the government to delay the electric vehicle tax

Saskatchewan Environmental Society
November 23, 2021
For immediate release

Saskatchewanians ask the government to delay the electric vehicle tax

On October 1, 2021, the Saskatchewan Government started charging electric vehicle (EV) drivers a punitive $150 tax, claiming that this would contribute to the provincial road maintenance fund. The Saskatchewan Environmental Society, the Saskatchewan Electric Vehicles Association, SaskEV, and the Tesla Owners Club of Saskatchewan have joined together to point out the folly of this tax.

“There are about 600 electric vehicles registered in the province. Starting the tax now tells the world that Saskatchewan doesn’t want electric vehicles or the money, jobs, and investment they bring,” says Tyler Krause of the Tesla Owners Club of Saskatchewan. “The world is transitioning over to electric vehicles. A punitive tax like this makes the Saskatchewan government look backwards, like they are against investment and growth.”

Electric vehicles are good for the economy

“This tax does not make economic sense,” says Matt Pointer of the Saskatchewan Electric Vehicle Association. “It’s already been demonstrated that EV owners contribute to provincial coffers more than gas vehicle owners – even without this tax. This tax will also cost the government to manage, and will likely be eaten up in administration and not even meaningfully contribute towards the 100-million-dollar deficit in the road maintenance budget.”

Furthermore, Canada has the entire supply chain for electric vehicles from raw resources to the manufacturing bases, and many of the resources needed for EVs can be mined and processed here in Saskatchewan. Thus, Saskatchewan could be a leader in EV technology. Jason Cruickshank of SaskEV emphasizes that “an electric vehicle tax creates financial barriers to new low-carbon technologies and sends the wrong message to those looking at investing in our provincial mining industry.”

Electric vehicles are good for people

EVs reduce air pollution, saving thousands of lives and preventing tens of thousands of asthma attacks. The American Lung Association and others report that EVs save billions of dollars in health benefits. Additionally, EVs have much lower overall lifetime ownership costs compared to gas-powered cars. The province should be supporting all Saskatchewanians in protecting our health and saving money.

Electric vehicles are good for the environment

EVs are up to five times more energy-efficient than conventional vehicles. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions and can run on 100% sustainable, renewable resources.

“All we are asking for is a delay in the tax – until 1.3% of the light-duty vehicles on Saskatchewan roads are electric (10,500 EVs),” says Allyson Brady of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. “Not only is this an entirely reasonable and fair ask, but by then the tax might actually start to contribute to road maintenance, which was the guise under which it was created.”