Media Contacts

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

Media Relations
250 952-0622

BC Hydro

Media Relations
604 928-6468


Facts about EVs in B.C.
  • British Columbia is leading the country in transitioning to EVs, with more than 60,000 light-duty EVs on B.C. roads.
  • EV owners see immediate savings on fuel costs – about $1,800 every year for the average B.C. driver.
  • The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act requires automakers to meet increasing annual levels of ZEV sales to reach 10% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.
    • B.C. is on its way to exceeding the 2025 targets with light-duty EV sales representing 9.4% of all new light-duty vehicle sales in B.C. in 2020.
  • B.C. has one of the largest public charging networks in Canada with more than 2,500 public charging stations located around the province.
  • Through the CleanBC Go Electric Public Charger program, applicants can receive up to 50% of the cost of equipment and installation to a maximum of $80,000 per fast-charging station.
  • B.C.’s zero-emission vehicle sector includes 274 companies employing more than 6,300 direct full-time-equivalent jobs, producing $1.9 billion in total economic output, and contributing $1.1 billion to the provincial GDP.
  • B.C.’s Budget 2021 adds an additional $94 million to the CleanBC Go Electric program for a three-year period to support rebates for purchases of zero-emission vehicles and charging stations, and the commercialization of heavy-duty vehicles. 
  • The StrongerBC economic recovery plan provided $31 million for the Speciality-Use Vehicle Incentive program, and $30 million for the Commercial Vehicle Innovation Challenge, which is under development.
Recommendations to drive the switch to EVs

The following actions have been identified through the Phase 2 BC Hydro Review process to encourage more people and businesses to switch from gasoline and diesel vehicles to electric vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

The recommendations complement the Province’s CleanBC Go Electric program, which encourages and accelerates the adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in B.C. for their environmental and economic benefits by:

  • bringing down the price of ZEVs;
  • making it easier to charge or fuel a ZEV; and
  • supporting research, jobs training and economic development in B.C.’s ZEV sector.

For more about the CleanBC Go Electric program, visit:

Under the CleanBC Go Electric program, the Province has partnered with BC Hydro on the delivery of home and workplace charger rebates and the deployment of DC Fast Chargers across the province.  

Government and BC Hydro will consider the recommendations, advance them through appropriate engagement with Indigenous Nations and organizations, stakeholders and the public, and seek Treasury Board and regulatory approvals from the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) as required.

1. To encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and reduce system costs, BC Hydro should develop a new optional rate for residential customers – particularly EV drivers – that offers a reduced electricity charge in off-peak hours.

  • An optional time-of-use rate for residential customers could provide a number of benefits, most particularly for EV drivers who could save money by charging their vehicles at a lower rate overnight rather than during the day.
  • An optional time-of-use rate would also help BC Hydro manage demand for power and grid-related costs by moving some of the load to off-peak hours.
  • BC Hydro has initiated engagement on an optional time-of-use rate as part of developing its next rate design application, which will be filed with the BCUC in early 2022.

 2. To encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, BC Hydro should develop an optional rate for workplace EV charging.

  • Employers can support the adoption of EVs by providing workplace charging. However, as most workplaces would need to provide multiple chargers for employees, the additional electricity cost can add a significant amount to an employer’s electricity bill.
  • A potential solution is to offer an optional rate for workplaces that want to promote EV charging.
  • BC Hydro continues to consult with stakeholders to test interest in an optional rate for workplace charging, with a view to including it in a future rate design application to the BCUC in 2022.

3. Government should work with BC Hydro to establish a five-year plan for deployment of DC fast-charging stations.

  • DC fast-chargers, also known as Level 3 chargers, enable most EVs to charge to 80% in under an hour, making road trips easier and quicker.
  • Supported by the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, and Natural Resources Canada, BC Hydro has been active in the deployment of fast-charging stations throughout British Columbia. As of April 2021, BC Hydro had installed 97 EV fast-chargers at 71 sites around the province.
  • Strategic and well-planned deployment of fast-charging stations will encourage more people to drive EVs and allow for safer EV travel in B.C.
  • To ensure BC Hydro’s fast-charging station investments are used to best advantage, government is working with BC Hydro on a plan for future investments to the end of 2025.
  • The plan will be informed by modelling and site-selection criteria developed as part of the Province’s Public Light-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Study 
  • British Columbia Public Light-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Study:
  • In addition, BC Hydro continues to pilot EV charging technologies, which will reduce the cost of implementing EV chargers in multi-use residential buildings, commercial and public settings.

4. To support the expansion of B.C.’s charging network, BC Hydro’s subsidiary Powertech should explore innovative technical options to reduce the cost of DC fast-charging stations.

  • The high cost of DC fast-charging stations makes the business case for installing new fast chargers challenging as there is not yet a high enough EV population or utilization, especially outside of the Lower Mainland and Southern Vancouver Island, for station revenues to offset costs.
  • Reducing the cost of installing fast-chargers will help to remove barriers to expand the fast-charging network throughout the province and further stimulate the switch to EVs.
  • BC Hydro’s subsidiary Powertech Labs is one of the largest testing and research labs in North America and home to a broad range of scientists, engineers and technical specialists from around the world.
  • Powertech has significant technical expertise in the area of EV charging, having installed almost 100 fast-chargers throughout the province, and continues to research, test and pilot innovative solutions to reduce the cost of fast-charging stations.

5. Government should work with BC Hydro to develop an electrification/low-carbon fuels strategy for medium-and heavy-duty vehicles, including pilot projects.

  • Government and BC Hydro’s efforts to increase the number of EVs on the road has largely focused on light-duty vehicles.
  • Medium-and heavy-duty vehicles will be the next area of focus with the CleanBC Go Electric program offering rebates for these vehicle classes and investments in pilot projects and infrastructure.
  • Low-carbon fuels that could reduce emissions in these vehicle classes include renewable fuels and hydrogen as well as electricity.
  • The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation is soliciting feedback from stakeholders on the value of further utility investment for the medium- and heavy-duty transportation sector, and on the barriers and opportunities associated with increasing the use of hydrogen, electricity and renewable natural gas to replace the use of natural gas, gasoline and diesel.  
  • That feedback, and customer experience in the current Go Electric commercial vehicle programs will inform the development of a medium- and heavy-duty vehicle low-carbon fuels/electrification strategy.
  • Go Electric commercial vehicle programs:
  • The ministry will seek BC Hydro’s input as it develops that strategy, which could include pilot programs to evaluate infrastructure needs.

6. Government should consider further measures to support EV adoption in medium- and low-income households.

  • Despite available EV rebates that could reduce the price of a new EV by up to $14,000 (including the SCRAP-IT BC rebate), the up-front cost of purchasing a new EV is still a significant barrier to middle- and low-income households.
  • In addition, this customer group might be more likely to live in multi-unit residential buildings with limited access to home charging.
  • Building on vehicle rebates provided under the CleanBC Go Electric program, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation is developing options to support the purchase of EVs by medium- and low-income households.
Phase 2 guided by broad range of engagement, input

Phase 2 of the BC Hydro Review was conducted by:

  • the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation;
  • the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy;
  • BC Hydro; and
  • BC Hydro's subsidiaries, Powerex and Powertech.

The review was informed and guided by nine external energy-industry experts with extensive experience in public and private North American utility operation, labour, climate change, Indigenous relations, regulation and electricity markets.

The Province released an interim report in March 2020. The report shared preliminary ideas on Phase 2 and included questions to solicit further feedback from industry stakeholders, Indigenous Nations, environmental organizations, municipalities, unions and customer groups. Responses to the interim report informed the development of the final recommendations.

In addition, as part of the Draft Action Plan to advance the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, the Province will, in collaboration with the First Nations Leadership Council and First Nations Energy and Mining Council, launch a consultation with First Nations later this year to identify and support new clean energy opportunities for Indigenous peoples related to CleanBC, the BC Hydro Review and the British Columbia Utilities Commission Inquiry on Indigenous Utilities.

Learn More:

For biographies of the external energy industry experts who informed and guided the Phase 2 Review, visit: