The B.C. government will require all new vehicles sold in the province to be zero-emission by 2040. The plan will be phased in over time, with new legislation mandating that 10 per cent of new light-duty vehicle sales be zero-emission by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.
“British Columbians are eager to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles, but price and availability can be barriers,” Minister of Energy Michelle Mungall said.
“To reduce those barriers, we are providing rebates as part of CleanBC, and now we are bringing in legislation that will improve availability.”
There are still numerous barriers to getting people in electric vehicles in B.C.
Zero-emission versions of top-selling models, like the Ford F-150, are still not available. There are also concerns about the impact of cold weather on battery life, the number of charging stations, and the cost of zero-emission vehicles relative to gas vehicles.
WATCH (aired November 20, 2018): B.C. government pushing clean energy vehicles
The zero-emission vehicles act introduced on Wednesday is based on the legislation already in place in Quebec and California.
The government is hoping to address some of the issues consumers face by offering incentives of up to $5,000 for the purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.
“We know that British Columbians want clean-energy vehicles to be more affordable and more accessible. The legislation will make it easier for everyone in our province to choose a clean energy vehicle as their next purchase, supporting our long-term work to build a cleaner future, while dramatically reducing transportation and maintenance costs for British Columbians,” Environment Minister George Heyman said.
WATCH (aired November 20, 2018): B.C. premier announces long-term plan for clean energy vehicles
British Columbia already has the highest per capita adoption of zero-emission vehicles in Canada, with over 17,000 on the road.
Dan Woynillowicz from Clean Energy Canada says he is encouraged by work being done by car manufacturers to convert their regular vehicles to electrics. For example, Ford is working on creating their truck models in electric form by the 2020s.
“British Columbians have had a tough time finding electric cars on dealership lots and often had to go on long waiting lists,” Woynillowicz said.
“This legislation will help ensure supply keeps up with demand, making it easier for people to go electric, while helping B.C. cut carbon pollution and combat climate change.”