A special decal to allow electric vehicles to travel in high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in B.C. has already been issued to 1,000 electric vehicles owners in the province.
In March, Premier Christy Clark announced that eligible electric vehicles in British Columbia will be allowed to travel in HOV lanes throughout the province without having to meet the occupancy requirements.
“The response to this program has been fantastic,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone said. “Immediately after we announced it in March, electric vehicle owners were calling and emailing the ministry to apply for a decal – an indication of British Columbians' willingness to look for more fuel-efficient transportation options and support our efforts to address climate change.”
Drivers must clearly display the decal issued by the Province. The decal must be attached on the rear bumper or window and 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.
To let drivers know that electric vehicles are permitted in HOV lanes, new electric vehicle “tabs” have been posted below highway HOV signs in the Lower Mainland and Kelowna.
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 is 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. The Province introduced the Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) Program in 2011 and has since committed more than $31 million to make CEVs more affordable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the CEV Program, incentives of up to $5,000 are available for the purchase or lease of a new battery-electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. When combined with the SCRAP-IT Program incentives, total savings could be up to $8,250 for an electric vehicle.
A new Climate Leadership Plan will be released this year. The plan will shape the next phase of climate action in B.C. to continue reducing greenhouse gas emissions while supporting a strong economy.
For more information on HOV lanes and electric vehicles and to apply for a permit, click here: http://www.gov.bc.ca/HOVPermit
A backgrounder follows.