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BC Government Announces ZEV MANDATE

BC Government Announces ZEV MANDATE

November 28, 2018

By Blair Qualey

The BC Government recently announced its intention to introduce Legislation next Spring to phase in targets for the sale of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and in doing so, will set targets of new vehicle sales being 10% ZEV sales by 2025, 30% by 2030, and 100% by 2040.

As part of the plan, Victoria has suggested it will expand the size of the province’s fast-charger network to 151 sites, increase funding for the CEVforBC Program by $20 million this year and also review the Program with a view to expanding it over time – initiatives BC New Car Dealers welcome as a means of ensuring greater EV adoption.

In BC, sales of electric vehicles have increased from 567 in 2013, to more than 3,500 in 2017, to more than 6,300 through the first three quarters of this year. In fact, during the third quarter of 2018, the sale of electric vehicles represented 15.4 per cent of all new car sales in the province, according to FleetCarma.com

New Car Dealers support the goal of transitioning British Columbians into clean energy vehicles and believe the best way to accomplish that goal is through a carrot – not sticks approach. We believe incentives that make clean energy vehicles more affordable, education on the latest technologies, and ongoing investment in the provincial wide charging network are key aspects of such an approach.

A ZEV mandate or a legislated sales quota, however is of concern because it does not take a number of key factors into account, such as: EVs are still unaffordable for many individuals and families in British Columbia; in some areas of BC, particularly in the Interior and the North, geography and climate mean an EV is not a realistic option for many families or businesses; a comprehensive network of charging stations is critical to support increased EV adoption and further details are required about how, where and when the network will be developed, and; there is no recognition that newer model gasoline powered vehicles can also play an important role in emission reductions as manufacturers unveil new internal combustion models that are much more fuel efficient with each passing year.

BC’s New Car Dealers already play a significant role in moving British Columbians to clean energy vehicles and we want to continue doing so with government, in a manner that is based on a thoughtful, fact based and detailed strategy. To that end, we are interested in the extent to which a public consultation process may occur prior to the introduction of legislation, to ensure that the views of all regions of the province are represented in what is a very important and ongoing discussion.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca.

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