Eligible electric vehicles in British Columbia will now be allowed to travel in high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes throughout the province without having to meet the occupancy requirements, Premier Christy Clark announced today at the 2016 Globe Conference on Sustainability and Innovation.
“British Columbians are increasingly embracing alternative and greener transportation options,” Premier Clark said. “And we can encourage even more by making it easier and more efficient, like allowing electric vehicle owners to use HOV lanes, regardless of occupancy requirements.”
Drivers must clearly display a decal issued by the Province. The decal must be attached on the rear bumper or window and must be visible at all times. Electric vehicles are defined as battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Vehicles that rely on gas-electric hybrid motors that do not plug into an external source are not eligible to receive a decal.
“Drivers who make environmentally-friendly decisions like buying an electric vehicle should be rewarded,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone said. “By choosing electric, drivers will not only benefit from a shorter and more reliable commute that HOV lanes provide, they will save money and help the environment.”
To let drivers know that electric vehicles are permitted in HOV lanes, new electric vehicle “tabs” will be posted below highway HOV signs.
“The New Car Dealers Association is pleased that the provincial government is taking this important initiative to promote the use of clean energy vehicles,” said Blair Qualey, president and CEO of New Car Dealers Association of BC. “Allowing qualifying electric and fuel cell vehicles to access HOV lanes is a strong incentive to encourage drivers to consider making greener vehicle choices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Province is working to encourage people to make greener choices by promoting the sale of electric vehicles. Supporting alternative and more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies was a key component in the B.C. on the Move 10-year transportation plan. Local governments that have HOV lanes also support electric vehicles using the lanes.
Promoting environmentally-friendly transportation is part of government’s broader strategy to ensure British Columbia remains a climate action leader. In 2014, the Province announced incentives of up to $5,000 for the purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in electric vehicle.
For more information on HOV lanes and electric vehicles and to apply for a permit, click here: http://www.gov.bc.ca/HOVPermit