Las Vegas, Nevada – The President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC addressed a meeting of dealer association executives from across North America today, about the roadmap to success that has positioned British Columbia as a leader in electric vehicle (EV) sales.
Speaking to delegates attending the Automotive Trade Association Executives EV Summit at the annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention in Las Vegas, Blair Qualey explained that over a dozen years ago, the notion of EVs making a dent in BC’s new car market was unthinkable. Today, the province leads the way with the highest per-capita sales of electric vehicles in North America.
What is now known as the Clean BC Go Electric Vehicle Rebate Program has enjoyed significant success, growing from just over 500 vehicle purchase rebate transactions for EVs in 2013 to over 18,000 in 2021. Despite the pandemic and supply chain issues, 2021 was a milestone year, with the highest number of rebates processed in the history of the Program.
BC’s approach is based on three pillars, explained Balir Qualey. These include point of purchase rebates, access to charging stations in places where people live, work and play – and ongoing education and awareness about the benefits of EV ownership. However, another key aspect is the level of partnership and collaboration that has been created with industry, government, utility companies including charging station suppliers and energy producers.
“There are also some very important lessons learned that can’t be overstated,” explained Qualey. “We have learned how Important it is that vehicle rebates be offered at the dealership, at point-of-sale – which simplifies the process and alleviates any concern about not receiving the rebate or any delay in receiving the rebate. We have also learned how the experience of driving an EV is unique and best understood by first-hand experience. Providing opportunities that encourage consumers to drive EVs is one of the best ways to spark sales. The inclusion of EV test drives as a core component of the Vancouver International Auto Show and through other opportunities across the province has helped consumers understand the benefits of EVs and helped spark demand.”
Moving forward, the pace of clean energy vehicle adoption will increase significantly in British Columbia, fueled by provincial targets that would see 90% of all new light-duty vehicle sales in the province be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030 and 100% by 2035 – and completion of the provincial Electric Highway by 2024 and 10,000 public EV charging stations by 2030.
“The course we have charted creates a path for continued success and a host of benefits. It’s good for government, good for business and good for the environment,” concluded Qualey.
About the New Car Dealers Association of BC: The NCDA is the provincial industry association that represents over 400 new car and truck dealers throughout British Columbia. Members of the Association provide over 30,000 family supporting jobs for British Columbians and are responsible for over $16 Billion of retail sales in the province. The Association speaks on behalf of the retail new automotive industry to the public, media, and government, and deals primarily with the legal, environmental, and consumer issues relating to vehicle sales in BC.
About the NADA Show: NADA Show 2022 in Las Vegas is the auto industry event of the year. Attendees learn new business strategies, network with industry leaders, meet with automakers, and shop the industry’s largest showcase of products and services – all under one roof. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) was founded by dealers and state automobile association executives in Washington, D.C., in 1917. More than 100 years later, NADA represents nearly 16,500 new-car and -truck dealers, with 32,500 franchises, both domestic and international.