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Canada: Driv.r | Meet the first Nissan Leaf in Newfoundland

If you believe driving an electric car is a great way to help make the world a better place then you can be forgiven if you think our provincial government is, well, rather provincial.

Governments all over the world are scrambling to find new ways to encourage industry to build more green cars and tempt consumers to buy them. But not here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

My personal theory is, like snow clearing in St. John’s, it’s become part of our “can’t do” attitude.

And apparently it’s contagious. Not even the auto makers believe in this market. The local Chev dealer will sell you a Volt, but probably not off the lot. Slow-moving inventory is expensive to carry. Expect to place an order and wait for delivery. And don’t even ask Nissan to sell you a Leaf, the most popular plug-in car in the world. The company doesn’t sell them here.

Which strikes me as odd because technical challenges appear to be falling by the wayside. Electric cars are proving to be reliable. Driving range between charges is increasing. For many families going electric is a viable option, at least for a second car.

All well and good, except for this simple fact: electric cars ARE more expensive to buy. Expect to pay at least $10,000 over the sticker price of a similar gasoline-powered car. That’s why provincial governments in Ontario, Quebec and BC offer consumers generous rebates (up to $8,500) when they buy electric.
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