B.C. making it easier to buy zero-emission vehicles (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

Media Relations
250 208-6183


Facts about electric vehicles in British Columbia
  • The number of registered light-duty EVs in B.C. rose from 5,000 in 2016 to more than 129,500 today, an increase of 2,500%.
  • British Columbia now has one of the largest public-charging networks in Canada with more than 4,800 electric-charging stations in B.C., compared to 781 charging stations in 2016, an increase of 515%.
  • B.C.’s ZEV sector is delivering jobs and significant economic opportunities in the province, including:
    • an estimated 274 companies and organizations involved in all aspects of the EV sector;
    • more than 11,000 people in total employment in the EV sector;
    • $1.15 billion in total contribution to the provincial GDP; and
    • more than $2 billion in total economic output.
What people are saying about B.C.’s transition to zero-emission vehicles

Mark Zacharias, executive director, Clean Energy Canada –

“B.C.’s revised zero-emission vehicles-sales requirement will increase the availability of EVs in the province, providing more British Columbians access to vehicles that both save drivers money and improve air quality. Even when factoring in upfront costs, EVs are significantly cheaper to own than gas cars, in many cases saving families over $30,000 after a decade of ownership. Now more than ever, B.C. needs solutions that tackle the twin crises of climate change and worsening affordability.”

Chris O’Riley, president and chief executive officer, BC Hydro –

“B.C. is the ideal place to drive an electric vehicle because 98% of the power we generate comes from renewable resources. To combat growing climate-change challenges and achieve our emissions-reduction targets, we need to make the switch to 100% light-duty electric vehicles sales by 2035, and some of the ways we’re helping support are through home and workplace charger rebates, and the expansion of our public charging network to make EV driving more accessible for British Columbians.”

Doug Beckett, founder and facilitator, Prince George Electric Vehicle Association –

“In 2009, when we began driving our electric vehicle in Prince George, there were no charging stations. In those days you sought out RV campgrounds and welder shops to charge at or were satisfied with the slow charge from a wall plug. It is so much easier now that British Columbia has over 4,800 public-charging stations.”

Wendy Wall, president, board of directors, Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association –

“The CleanBC rebates for EV Ready Plans and electrical infrastructure have been a game-changer to increasing access to at-home charging for strata owners in B.C. The program encourages strategic planning, resulting in cost-effective installations and smart use of the building’s electrical capacity. The combined effect of rebates and changes to the Strata Property Act earlier this year means that stratas will be ready to meet the demand for charging stations as the adoption of electric vehicles continues to grow.”

Zero-Emission Vehicles Act amendment

Amendments to the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act implement accelerated sales targets for new light-duty vehicles sold in British Columbia, initially announced in the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, so that 26% of light-duty (cars and trucks) vehicle sales in the province are ZEVs, 90% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.

The act benefits all British Columbians by creating more ZEV options to choose from at various price ranges to help them make the switch to a vehicle powered by clean energy. These amendments are necessary to reduce wait times for British Columbians who want to purchase a ZEV.

The amendments also include:

  • changes to the phase-out year on the sale of new internal-combustion engine vehicles from Jan. 1, 2040, to Jan. 1, 2035, to ensure that 100% of new vehicle sales in 2035 are ZEVs as committed to in the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030;
  • a requirement that ZEVs are registered in British Columbia in addition to being sold or leased, for the first time, to earn compliance credits under the ZEV Act, a requirement that will ensure that vehicles receiving credits under the act are being driven in B.C.;
  • Minor changes in the reporting requirements to reflect lessons learned from the first compliance periods, and a new requirement that automakers provide the Province with ZEV sales-forecast data to support the Province in tracking the ZEV market and planning for charging infrastructure;
  • changes to improve alignment with ZEV regulations in California and Quebec.

Strengthening B.C.’s ZEV mandate will help ensure more ZEV supply is being brought into B.C. compared to other jurisdictions. Although ZEVs currently have higher purchase costs, they have lower operating and maintenance costs, which save British Columbians money over the lifetime of the vehicle. The suite of complementary Go Electric programs help make ZEVs more affordable for British Columbians.   

Many of the amendments will come into force upon royal assent. The changes related to vehicle registration and supply will come into force Oct. 1, 2024, to align with the beginning of the model year 2024 compliance period.

The ministry released a ZEV Act and Regulation Formal Review Intentions Paper to targeted stakeholders for comment in summer 2022. The ministry also held a webinar for vehicle suppliers and held individual meetings with technical stakeholders upon request. The input received through this consultation process helped inform the final proposed amendments to the act. 

The ministry also engaged with First Nations through a CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 Indigenous engagement process, and feedback received during the consultation process was captured in the final proposed recommendations.