Vancouver—The BC government has announced incentives of up to $6,000 for the lease or purchase of clean energy vehicles.
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, unveiled the incentive program on Monday, indicating the aim is to make cleaner vehicles more accessible to consumers.
Electric vehicles typically cost about 25 per cent more than their non-electric counterparts. The incentives are part of the Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) program, which also includes investments in charging stations, the ministry reported.
“We’re providing incentives that will make electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles more affordable for British Columbians, and expanding the charging and fueling infrastructure to make it easier to ‘fill the tank’,” said Bennett.
Battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are eligible for incentives up to $5,000, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can qualify for up to $6,000.
The Global Automakers of Canada (GAC) lauded the decision. The incentives will spur demand and build consumer confidence in alternative vehicles, said David Adams, president of the GAC.
“The reality is manufacturers are producing these advanced technology vehicles but for there to be any environmental benefit consumers have to be aware of them, purchase them, and have confidence that the fueling and charging infrastructure is available,” Adams said, in a GAC press release.
Continued collaboration between government and industry will benefit consumers and the environment, he added. The GAC statement included a call for the BC government to work with industry on reasonable emissions targets for the automotive sector post 2025.
Manufacturers must continue “to respect that vehicles and the fuels that power them are an integrated system,” Adams said, outlining how automakers can meet the new targets.
The CEV program will see the distribution of $10.6 million over the next three years. The majority of the funding—$7.5 million—goes to point-of-sale vehicle incentives.
The program will also invest approximately $1.6 million in vehicle fueling and charging infrastructure. The remaining funding includes $1 million for commercial fleet purchase incentives, and $500,000 for research, training, and public outreach.