The ecoAuto rebate program offers rebates from C$1,000 to C$2,000 to people who buy or enter a long-term lease (12 months or more) for a fuel-efficient vehicle. The government is also levying a tax on fuel-inefficient vehicles from C$1,000 to C$4,000 in its Green Levy program.
The rebates apply to cars that get combined fuel economy of 6.5 L/100km (36 mpg US) or better and new light trucks getting 8.3 L/100km (28 mpg US) or better.
The 1.8-liter Civic with a five-speed automatic gets 6.7 L/100km; the 1.8 liter with a five-speed automatic gets 6.8 L/100km. (The 2.0-liter Civic is well away from the threshold at 8.3 L/100km.)
The Fit models are similarly on the edge, with combined fuel economy of 6.6 to 6.8 L/100km.
Honda research and development staff in Japan are working to increase fuel efficiency on the Fit subcompact and Civic compact for the 2008 model year, executive vice-president Jim Miller said.
The auto industry is furious with the ecoAuto program contained in the March federal budget because manufacturers say it is unfair to some models; forces consumers to choose between safety and the environment, and will have a negligible impact on emissions.
Honda, one of the country’s greenest automakers, was so upset with the program it took the unusual step of offering $1,000 on the purchase or lease of a 2007 Fit or a 2006-07 Civic with manual transmission.
The program gives an advantage to the Toyota Yaris, which offers fuel consumption of 6.2 and 6.3 L/100km.
(A hat-tip to Bob!)