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MetroMPG 04-03-2010 11:32 AM

Ontario suspends registrations of converted electric vehicles (update: ban lifted)
 
I'm looking for more details, but it appears the forward-thinking province of Ontario (Canada's most populous province, and location of most of Canada's conversions) has put a moratorium in place on the registration of electric conversions.

Not yet sure how this will affect the ForkenSwift, or whether it only applies to new applications.

Here's a letter in today's Ottawa Citizen from a member of Ottawa's EV group (who also runs a business doing conversions):

Quote:

MTO moratorium short-circuits electric vehicle conversions

The Ottawa Citizen April 3, 2010 6:06 AM

For 100 years, we have been able to drive electric-powered vehicles on the roads in Ontario. For the last 30 years or so about the only way to get an electric vehicle was to build it yourself by converting a conventional gasoline-powered car to electric power.

This practice has been followed by many electric-vehicle enthusiasts and is fully legal and encouraged by the government because you can apply for up to a $1,000 sales tax rebate from the Minister of Revenue of Ontario under the "vehicles powered by alternate fuel, RST 702" program.

Now the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) has declared a moratorium on the registration of electric vehicles pending a review of the requirements and regulations applying to this type of vehicle registration.
This sudden action has left several consumers in limbo having already spent many thousands of dollars (as much as a new car) on vehicle conversions and no way to register or license their car for the road. We are not talking about thousands of vehicles but a few forward-thinking individuals.

I am all for ensuring that safe, reliable vehicles are on our roads but find the unexplained moratorium with no date in sight of when it might be released regressive. To my knowledge there has never been an issue related to the safety of an electric vehicle conversion or the safety of first responders to accidents in Ontario, Canada or the U.S. over the 30 years that I have personally and professionally been involved with electric vehicles.

I have to question why electric vehicles have been singled out and treated this way. We all await commercial sale of electric vehicles from the manufacturers, but in the meantime let us realize our dreams of owning an electric car now.

Richard Lane, Ottawa
President, REV Consultants Ltd.
source: MTO moratorium short-circuits electric vehicle conversions

thatguitarguy 04-03-2010 11:40 AM

I'd be curious as to how much the oil lobby has to do with this kind of thing...

MetroMPG 04-03-2010 10:59 PM

Or the fact that the Ontario government is a significant shareholder in Government Motors, along with the US & Canadian feds.

Or it may simply be a case of the Nanny State being annoying for no good reason. Sometimes it's nice to be coddled by Nanny. Other times, not so much :D

ChrstphrR 04-03-2010 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thatguitarguy (Post 169015)
I'd be curious as to how much the oil lobby has to do with this kind of thing...

As is, the Onterrible Gov't takes more in taxes than that so called "oil lobby" makes in profits per litre of fuel* -- roughly 14 cents per litre, gasoline, or diesel. They don't need a lobbyist to tell them that.

Onterrible has a structural deficit, the current one is over 20 billion dollars. This is a freeze to look and see if they can shake down more money out of people; that, and Onterrible is a haven for nanny state style useless rules and regulations.

I don't foresee an electric car in my future, but I think it's an awful thing that my home province is trying to put the kibosh on people making electric conversions.

Unfortunately, they went this way long ago with kit-cars, effectively legislating/regulating them out of existence in the province, by treating them as vehicles requiring full compliance to the myriad of crash tests and other compliance regulations that the major automakers must file for each model they sell. So, really, I expect to hear that they go the same route with EV conversions. Previously registered cars might squeak by unburdened by new regs, fees, taxes, fees for the tax, and/or taxes for the fees; new ones produced by the cottage conversion industry might not.

*Canada Gasoline Tax Information - Ontario Gas Prices

Silveredwings 04-03-2010 11:45 PM

Nice. Big oil AND government are slapping high fives. Welcome to North America.

RobertSmalls 04-03-2010 11:46 PM

Does this mean you might have to make the ForkenSwift into a hybrid? That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Re-reading the first post, it seems that the moratorium affects not just homemade EVs, but also commercial ones, eh?

MadisonMPG 04-03-2010 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silveredwings (Post 169101)
Nice. Big oil AND government are slapping high fives. Welcome to North America.

It's a pleasure to have you.

MetroMPG 04-04-2010 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrstphrR (Post 169092)
This is a freeze to look and see if they can shake down more money out of people;

Except the number of converted EV's in the province is vanishingly small. I'd bet there are less than 25 on the road. I can't imagine that the number of people requesting registration of conversions has shot up dramatically.

Unless...

I wonder if the moratorium may have to do with someone/some people exploiting the EV registration process to bypass emissions testing.

At the local drivers/licenses office, the ForkenSwift's registration was ultimately changed from "g" (gasoline) to "e" without any supporting documentation/inspection required. Note that "e" also grants an exemption from the province's Drive Clean emissions program.

Theoretically, anyone could walk in and say "my car is electric" and get their registration changed.

I wonder if the ministry of transportation noted a spike in "e" registrations at some office(s) in the province. Imagine a used car dealer or curbsider discovering and exploiting this trick, registering a bunch of ICE vehicles as electrics to circumvent emissions compliance.

Quote:

Unfortunately, they went this way long ago with kit-cars, effectively legislating/regulating them out of existence in the province, by treating them as vehicles requiring full compliance to the myriad of crash tests and other compliance regulations that the major automakers must file for each model they sell.
This is how Ontario effectively prevented NEV's / LSV's from being sold (registered) in the province as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertSmalls (Post 169102)
Does this mean you might have to make the ForkenSwift into a hybrid? That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Not sure what it means yet for the FS.

Quote:

Re-reading the first post, it seems that the moratorium affects not just homemade EVs, but also commercial ones, eh?
My understanding is that it's an issue only with people wanting to change from ICE to EV status.

The province hasn't made any public statement on this. It was discovered this spring by a couple of people who completed conversions and were reportedly denied the EV designation on their registration.

hummingbird 04-04-2010 09:36 AM

Stupid dogs in the manger! They cannot take on the real challenges, so they pick on small fries like EV modders.

If these guys were around ol' Henry would have been denied a factory permit, and we would have been very eco-friendly (plenty of horse manure to go around for everyone's kitchen garden!) Sheesh!

cfg83 04-04-2010 05:18 PM

MetroMPG -

When I see this stuff I look for an event that might have triggered the legislation. Maybe an EV got in an accident where the safety was called into question. But the "EV Registration Loophole Theory" does have merit.

CarloSW2


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