Monday, June 6, 2016

Electric Car Rebates

So this article came across my Facebook feed a while back and I though it was a great potential source of data for discussion at many levels
It certainly captured my attention as an Ontario resident but a closer look showed that there was potentially a lot of data to be analyzed. The data is about the Ontario Electric Vehicle Incentive program and the above article was inspired by this news release but in the article they were able to get more specific data about number of vehicles of each style (which is not released).


Students are encouraged to look critically at the original article and perhaps talk about how the title and some of the information given is used to incite a reaction.
For example even though they gave the overall numbers of almost 4800 people getting around $39 million in rebates, they focused on just the rebates of the most expensive cars which total about 2% of the people and rebate value. And although they do mention it, it's not highlighted but about 25% of those rebates went to one vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt.
But looking at the ministry website you can see a nice data set about which cars get which rebates (as well as info about how the program changed once it was pointed out that super expensive luxury cars were getting rebates.
I was able to get this table out and clean it up as well as add the approximate value of each car to the list (it's approximate because I had to go and search each out on the web so I might have been a bit lazy when it came to options) and now it is good for some simple analysis.
On the "low hanging fruit" end you can create the bar graph of the number of models for each company. Personally, I wouldn't have guessed GM to be at the top. But you can also create a histogram of the actual rebate to look at the distribution (or perhaps look at the box plot or dot plot). Lastly you could look at whether there is a connection with the price of the car and how big the rebate is.

Sample Questions

  • Which manufacturer has the most electric models?
  • What is the most common rebate value?
  • Does the rebate get bigger (in general) as the price of the car increases?
  • If you were going to purchase an electric vehicle, which one would benefit the most/least from the rebate program?

Download the Data

Let me know if you used this data set or if you have suggestions of what to do with it beyond this.

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