British Columbia Announces Clean Vehicle Incentive Program

 In Electric Vehicle News

The Province of British Columbia (B.C.) announced a new clean vehicle incentive program this past weekend.  The two year program hopes to grow the sales of clean tech vehicles in the province with point of purchase incentives and supplementary incentive offerings to help build the required charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs).

The B.C. point of purchase rebate begins on December 1st of this year and offers purchases of EVs up to $5000 in rebates, depending on battery size.  A similar program currently exists in Ontario where the maximum incentive that could be received by EV purchasers is $8,500.  Quebec is the only other province in Canada that has announced an electric vehicle incentive program that offers a rebate of up to $8,000 and begins in January, 2012.  Click on the following for more information on the Quebec EV action plan and the Ontario EV incentive program.

These financial incentives will help with early adopter uptake in the short-term and ensure a quicker payback period on the price premium for plug-in electric vehicles.  These
incentives are designed to help build the critical mass and production capacity required by OEMs to bring the costs of these vehicles down in the longer-term.

“The point-of-sale rebate program is key to attracting new clean energy vehicles to the B.C. market,” says Blair Qualey, CEO, New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia. “Manufacturers are eager to launch their new electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell cars in markets that demonstrate both high demand and with infrastructure in place – B.C. is now one of those markets.”

The incentives in each province in Canada are offered based on batter size, which usually means that full-functioning electrics will likely qualify for slightly higher rebates than the hybrid options.  However, that isn’t entirely the case for the B.C. program.  For example, purchasing either the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt would qualify for the same size of a rebate, $5000.

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In terms of the environmental benefits, going electric in B.C. will be a big win.  According to Environment Canada, the British Columbia electrical grid is one of the cleanest in the country with an electricity intensity of only 20 grams of CO2 equivalent emitted for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) produced.  Manitoba (10g CO2e/kWh) and Quebec (2g CO2e/kWh) are the only two provinces with cleaner electricity in the country.

Homeowners in B.C. that install a dedicated EV charging station in their homes will also qualify for an additional $500 rebate. In Ontario, the current EV program also offers non-monetary incentives. These include access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes – even if only one person is in the car – and access to public recharging infrastructure at Ontario government parking lots (such as GO bus and train stations around the Greater Toronto Area).

For more details on the newly announced program in BC click here.

This announcement is encouraging for fleets and other early adopters of electric vehicles and begs the question, which province will be next to support the movement to electrify our transportation sector?

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