Last week, the provincial government put out a news release indicating that a record number of British Columbians have switched to electric vehicles. There are now more than 54,000 light duty electric vehicles (EVs) on the road, which is the highest reported uptake in North America.
BC’s New Car Dealers have worked immensely hard with the government over the past decade in this province to encourage and support the adoption of EVs. I feel immensely proud of these new numbers, as it is clear our work is certainly paying off. We continue to solidify BC as a leader in the EV space and I look forward to our ongoing work in the coming years.
In 2019, BC passed legislation that requires all new vehicles sold to be emission free by 2040. BC is well on its way to exceeding the 2025 targets with light-duty EV sales representing 9.4% of all new light-duty vehicle sales in BC in 2020. Given that all vehicle sales dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a dramatic increase in EV models being available, this number is expected to climb in the coming years.
With a growing number of EVs on the roads, the steps the Province is taking through ongoing programs like CleanBC Go Electric and SCRAP-IT® must be acknowledged. The programs provide attractive incentives for vehicles along with charging stations, to make the switch to greener vehicles more affordable for British Columbians. And it is with thanks to these programs that EV sales continue to climb.
One of the main hesitations consumers have in purchasing an EV is range anxiety. Last December, the provincial government made it even cheaper to buy and install electric vehicle charging stations. They doubled the rebate amount through CleanBC’s Go Electric EV Charge Rebate and EV Ready programs. Through this program, they also offer up to five hours of free support services from an EV charging station advisor. It is clear that to continue the increase in EV sales, we must provide education and assistance that goes beyond rebates.
I thank the province of British Columbia for their continued support and efforts, to encourage potential buyers to make the switch to EVs. It is certainly one way that we can pave the way for a greener future.
If you’re interested in making the switch to an EV, you are certainly not alone. For more information on CleanBC and rebates available, please visit here.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected].