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Interest in Electric Vehicles (EV) is on the rise – we’re seeing that in Canada, and specifically British Columbia as consumers continue to look for cleaner emission vehicles for their next new car purchase. Manufacturers are also taking note with new technology being developed for the EV market, not to mention new makes and models being debuted on dealership floors across the province.

However, like many consumer goods, advanced technology has come at a price, and in the auto world consumers have struggled to make green choices at the expense of more greenbacks. In British Columbia, we are fortunate to have excellent programs such as the BC SCRAP-IT Program and the Clean Energy Vehicle (CEVforBC™) Program, both enabling British Columbians to gain access to significant savings when opting to purchase an EV.

How much you ask? The answer is a lot.

Just last week, the BC SCRAP-IT Program announced a new level of incentive, where consumers purchasing a qualifying new electric vehicle can now receive a $6,000 incentive. The current program offering $3,000 will continue to be available to consumers who scrap their older vehicle and purchase a qualifying used electric vehicle. For details about new and used qualifying electric vehicles, visit the website at:

The new $6,000 incentive is a multi-year program, aiming to garner 500 transactions in its inaugural year.

SCRAP-IT’s voluntary early retirement vehicle program is designed to reduce greenhouse gas and smog exhaust emissions across the province. All scrapped vehicles and their components are permanently and properly recycled. To date, the BC SCRAP-IT Program has scrapped more than  40,000, older, polluting vehicles across the province.

The other incentive program, CEVforBC™, is administered by the New Car Dealers Association of BC.  Thanks to significant government funding, the program provides up to $5,000 in incentives to B.C. residents who purchase or lease an eligible new battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. When the CEVforBC™ program is combined with the BC SCRAP-IT Program, British Columbians are able to access up to $11,000 in savings, and $12,000 if you purchase a new fuel-cell vehicle – a significant deduction off the sticker price!

Thanks to BC Premier Christy Clark’s leadership, the Provincial Government announced last week that increased funding would go towards the program to ensure British Columbians are able to continue to access the cash incentives. Through ongoing Government support, over time we will see more and more consumers opt to purchase an EV – resulting in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly province.

Statistics from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants show that the average vehicle in B.C. is 11.08 years old. According to research from the University of Michigan, vehicles a decade or older produce an average of 16 per cent more emissions than newer models. Understandably, helping B.C. turn over its fleet could lead to huge emissions reductions, another reason the government incentive program is a smart move for British Columbia.

If you’d like to learn more about EV’s and the incentives that are available, or even test drive one, be sure to visit the Vancouver International Auto Show, happening March 28 – April 2 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Tickets are on sale now!

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected].