B.C. supports shift to clean transportation options

VICTORIA – 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.