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After a controversial two-year run, the Canadian government has announced their ecoAUTO rebate program will be ended next year. The ecoAUTO plan offered a $1000 to $2000 CDN rebate to owners of new cars that consumed gas at a rate less than 6.5 l/100 km. Although the ambitious plan sounded like an excellent way to reward drivers of frugal transportation, the mathematical line in the sand snuffed those whose vehicles were still very efficient, yet just under the threshold.

One of the most vocal protests came from Honda. Unfortunately for them, their Canadian-market Fit was "unfit" for the rebate, yet the competing Toyota Yaris was approved. It didn't take long for the Japanese automaker to call out the Ottawa government in protest. Honda took their message public, and even offered their own version of the rebate to match the government's offer.

To mend the wounds of this green-rebate-gone-awry, the Canadian government has pledged $250 million to the auto industry for the development and research of environmentally-friendly technologies.

[Source: Autoblog Green]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is true that the Fit and Civic didn't qualify for the program last year - I think they were off by .1 l/100km. They were retooled or something so that they are just under and qualify for 2008 - promoted on the Honda site.

      If Honda was still against the program it would probably be because the Pilot doesn't qualify but Toyota's (and others) hybrid SUVs do.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They aren't stopping the rebate programming specifically because of Honda but more so because they realized that issues like Honda's will continually arise. There is also a second reason which I'll get to. The $4000 gas-guzzler fee still stands which completely confirms that the whole point was to make money.

      The other reason why it was cancelled was because it was negatively affecting the automotive industry here in Canada. The government is spending $250 million which it will give to companies that operate factories in Canada to help create greener cars. Toyota and Honda make cars that are economical in Canada but as for the North American Three, every single vehicle they make in Canada is either an SUV, truck, or V6+.

      * 300
      * Dodge Charger
      * Dodge Magnum
      * Town & Country
      * Caravan/Pacifica

      * Ford Edge
      * Ford Crown Victoria (Includes livery and Police Interceptor models)
      * Mercury Grand Marquis
      * Lincoln MKX

      * Buick Allure and Buick LaCrosse
      * Chevrolet Equinox
      * Chevrolet Impala
      * Chevrolet Monte Carlo
      * Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra
      * Pontiac Grand Prix
      * Pontiac Montana SV6
      * Pontiac Torrent

      Other than maybe the Torrent they are all large vehicles and their fuel economy doesn't come close to cars like the Civic or Corolla. The government is saying they are giving $250 million to help the companies create greener cars. What they are really doing is trying to help the Canadian automotive industry in general. They realize the car industry employs more people than any other industry and so they are doing what they can to keep that going. It has nothing to do with making greener cars. It's just that's what people are buying now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, this sucks. ecoAuto was actually working:
      * It encouraged the purchase of fuel efficient cars
      * It encouraged manufacturers to make thier cars more efficient.

      It had a few boondoggles (the same as CAFE: the light truck exemption that articially inflates the sales of heavy cars, and the ethanol exemption, which is a sop to agribusiness) but overall it was a good thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      bullcrap.... the very last good thing in Canada is put down... way to go dudes, way to go... really
      • 7 Years Ago
      Your Republican....not wait that's not right.... conservative government at work.....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Damn! I missed the boat.... Was waiting for the 2009 VW Diesel and get the rebate to compensate for the extra $, looks like VW Canada missed the boat too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It would have made a lot more sense to have a simple sliding scale instead of an all or nothing arrangement. This way they could reward the most frugal vehicles even more yet still give modestly frugal vehicles some incentives. Maybe even more people would buy an I4 accord over the V6 for example.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i'm sure there lots more to this story but it still seems like Honda messed it up for everyone.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This program was done without any serious study. The employees who have put together this proposition did not made a "What if"scenario. So what the program did in fact is shift many millions $$ from all manufacturers (Honda Mazda included) and direct them to Toyota, especialy the Yaris.
      So the program was just and excuse for the government to try to look green and get reelected. Toyota does not need to be susidized by the Canadian citizens.
      The funny thinh is that they stop it not because of GM or Ford, but because of Honda . How ironic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ummm..."will be ended by"? Would "will end by" be just a little more grammatically correct?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I guess that the up to $4,000 tax for purchasing a gas guzzler is sticking around though?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Need you even ask?