The Province is making clean transportation more affordable and accessible for British Columbians, with incentives and one of Canada’s largest networks of charging and fuelling stations, announced Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources on Clean Energy Vehicle Day.
“We know that many British Columbians would like to make the switch to a clean-energy vehicle, but are put off because they think it will be too expensive, or that the charging infrastructure isn’t in place yet,” said Mungall. “Today’s event is about letting people know what we are doing to make the shift to clean transportation more affordable, and more accessible for British Columbians.”
During the Clean Energy Vehicle Day event, MLAs, reporters and the public had the opportunity to look at (and, in some cases, test drive) new clean-energy vehicles (CEVs), including battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles.
A recent BC Hydro study found that while a third of British Columbians are interested in switching to an electric vehicle, more than half believe electric vehicles are still too expensive. In fact, the report determined, some electric vehicles are less expensive than gas-powered cars over the long term, especially when fuel cost savings are considered. Electric vehicle drivers in B.C. have a built-in cost advantage, since this province has among the lowest electricity rates in North America.
B.C. is already a leader in clean-energy vehicles, with one of the largest public charging-infrastructure networks in Canada, and one of the highest per capita adoption rates of electric vehicles in the country.
To help more drivers make the shift to a clean-energy vehicle, the provincial government is making investments in 2018, along with other partners, to more than double the size of B.C.’s electric vehicle direct-current fast-charger (DCFC) network to 64 sites. When the network is expanded, it will be possible to drive from Golden to Tofino in an electric vehicle without running out of power.
In addition, the first public retail hydrogen fuelling stations in Canada will be opening in B.C. this year, with two in the Lower Mainland and one in the Capital Regional District.
To make CEVs more affordable, the Province offers point-of-sale incentives through the CEVforBC program, administered by the New Car Dealers Association of BC. The program offers incentives of up to $5,000 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. BC SCRAP-IT also offers incentives that, when combined with the CEVforBC program, provide total savings of up to $11,000 for a new electric vehicle, or $12,000 for a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.
Increased use of clean-energy vehicles supports the Province’s updated greenhouse gas reduction targets, which aim for 40% reduction in carbon emissions, from 2007 levels, by 2030, and a 60% reduction from 2007 levels by 2040.
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“We can make life more affordable and enjoyable by providing more clean and efficient transportation solutions. It’s a top priority for our government. Getting more people into electric vehicles is one of the ways we are going to meet our goals to reduce carbon pollution. Our commitment to cleaner transportation will help improve commutes and reduce costs for everyone, while cutting air and climate pollution.”
Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure –
“British Columbia’s transportation sector is the largest source of B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for about 39% of the province’s total. That’s why we are committed to making it easier for people to choose cleaner transportation options, like electric vehicles. Building a seamless network of charging stations is a huge step in the right direction, and I’m excited to see our transportation systems catching up with the times.”
Keith Anderson, vice-president customer service, BC Hydro –
"B.C. is a great place to drive an electric vehicle. With our electricity rates being among the lowest in North America, British Columbians can save 75% on fuel costs when switching to an electric vehicle. Electricity in B.C. is also clean — about 98% of the electricity BC Hydro generates comes from clean and renewable resources — which means making the switch will help to reduce emissions as well."
Steve Price, chair, Capital Regional District Board –
"The CRD would like to thank the Province for this important investment in clean energy for our region. We are currently utilizing e-bikes and electric vehicles within our corporate fleet, and are excited to move forward with piloting fuel cell vehicles that will further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions."
- British Columbians who purchase electric vehicles typically save about 75% on their fuel and maintenance costs, which adds up to about $2,400 per year.
- Increased use of CEVs helps shift spending on imported transportation fuels to locally produced electricity and hydrogen, while stimulating jobs and economic development in the local clean-tech sector.
- In 2015, the CEV sector in British Columbia encompassed 198 companies, employed approximately 3,850 full-time positions, and contributed about $700 million in total direct economic activity.
B.C.’s Clean Energy Vehicle Program: www.gov.bc.ca/cleanenergyvehicleprogram
CEVforBC vehicle point-of-sale incentive program: https://www.cevforbc.ca/
BC SCRAP-IT Program: https://scrapit.ca/
To view a map of electric vehicle charging stations in B.C. (and throughout North America), visit: https://www.plugshare.com/
Plug In BC – Fraser Basin Council is administering the Charging Solutions and Incentives Program, Fleet Champions Program, and Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive Program on behalf of the Province: https://pluginbc.ca/
Electric vehicles in HOV lane permit program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/traveller-information/routes-and-driving-conditions/hov-lanes/electric
BC Hydro’s report, Unplugged: Myths block road to the electric car dream: https://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHydro/customer-portal/documents/news-and-features/Report-unplugged-myths-block-road-to-EV-dream_April%202018.pdf
A backgrounder follows.