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Federal Climate Plan – Our Response

Federal Climate Plan – Our Response

January 7, 2021

Late last year, the federal government released their climate action plan, A Healthy Environment and a Health Economy. The New Car Dealers Association of BC (NCDA) works closely with the provincial government towards creating a greener future, and we’re encouraged to see these steps being taken at the federal level.

The NCDA, and our close to 400 dealers across the province, are committed to the fight against climate change. More and more auto manufacturers are bringing not only more electric vehicles, but also more gas vehicles with much lower carbon emissions to market, and at the dealership level, staff are educating consumers on the long-term benefits of such purchases. It is important to us that we are doing our part to lower carbon emissions, and the vehicles that we sell are an important part of the puzzle.

Encouraging more consumers to purchase Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs), cannot simply be done at the sales level alone. It requires financial incentives, increased investments in charging stations to alleviate range anxiety, and education tools. The NCDA is happy to see the federal government’s commitment to the cause.

According to their plan, the government will invest an additional $287 million over two years to continue the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles program until March 2022. They also plan to invest an additional $150 million over three years in charging and refueling stations across Canada. Both these action items will certainly see an increase in consumer interest over the next few years and move us closer to a greener future.

This proposed plan will not only help make life more affordable for Canadians but will also create jobs for local economies. The initiatives will need more people to take them from plans to actions, so it really is a win-win situation for the sector and post-COVID recovery.

Through plans like this, we will continue to bounce back from the pandemic and look to the future. It will allow for the auto industry to continue to boost local economies, one that makes up over 19% of all retail sales in the province annually ($16 billion).

BC is already doing a remarkable job when it comes to the sale of ZEVs – and it is certainly, in part, due to the government’s commitment. Thanks to the work of the Province, the NCDA administers the widely successful CleanBC Go Electric Vehicle Rebate Program. The program offers up to $3,000 in rebates when purchasing electric vehicles in BC and $1,500 in rebates for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The Province is also committed to offering incentives for those looking to install chargers in their homes and workplaces, another key to consumer purchases. There are also educational tools available for those making the jump, so the switch is as seamless as possible. Visit https://pluginbc.ca/ for more information.

We truly commend the federal government for taking these additional steps towards climate change and boosting the economy. As the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada said, “Canadians don’t have to choose between clean air and good jobs.” And this action plan should further move us in that direction.

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

Dealer Members with New Car Dealers Association

We represent more than 390 New Car Dealers throughout British Columbia.