Sharing the EV Experience
June 20, 2019
By Blair Qualey
International Research firm, Bloomberg NEF, recently released its annual Electric Vehicle Outlook, a yearly forecast of how electrification and shared mobility will impact transportation and automobile sales patterns over the next two decades.
Not surprisingly, the report suggests the way in which people and goods move is set to change dramatically due to anticipated factors such as a combination of policy, technology, economics, demographics and ever-changing consumer preferences.
Globally, more than 2 Million electric vehicles were sold in 2018 and the study projects annual electric vehicle (EV) sales will rise to 10 Million by 2025, 28 Million by 2030 and 56 Million by 2040. The report also suggests that in 20 years, 57 percent of all passenger vehicle sales will be in the form of EVs and 30 percent of the global passenger vehicle fleet will be electric.
The transition to electric vehicles varies from country to country – though in Canada, BC has established itself as a provincial leader, one that is the envy of other regions.
I was recently invited to address a conference in Atlantic Canada where there was great interest and discussion about BC’s approach to clean vehicle sales strategies. Stakeholders were especially taken with the partnership between BC’s New Car Dealers and the provincial government – one that is focussed on a combination of point-of-purchase incentives, ongoing investments in charging stations, dealer education and public awareness.
As a result of these strategies, growing environmental consciousness and some recent record-high gasoline prices, we have seen EV adoption grow from a modest number of 567 in 2013 and increase in each subsequent year. By 2017, EV sales totaled 3,500 before rising dramatically to 8,500 in 2018.
Last year, overall vehicle sales in British Columbia totalled about 207,000 – and the sale of electric vehicles represented more than 11 per cent of all new car sales over the same time frame (excluding SUVs, pick-up trucks and minivans).
In the first quarter of 2019, total EV sales surpassed 2,100 – but those numbers were heavily impacted by a several week lag between the federal government announcing a new EV purchase incentive program, and it coming into effect. In the second quarter, the popularity of the federal and provincial CEVforBC™ Program (which the New Car Dealers Association of BC administers on behalf the province) have been such that the provincial government has topped up program funding to keep pace with rising consumer demand.
In the second quarter, the popularity of the federal and provincial CEVforBC™ Program (which the New Car Dealers Association of BC administers on behalf the province) has been such that the provincial government has been required to top up program funding to keep pace with demand. In the month of May, Quebec and BC (both have point of purchase incentive programs) led the country in EV sales – and the 1,295 EV transactions recorded in British Columbia during that period represented more than six times the total sales of all remaining provinces combined, excluding Quebec
Despite the rapid growth in EV sales, they continue to make up a small fraction of overall vehicle transactions. Transitioning the province’s older car fleet will also take time. Factors such as vehicle cost, improved technology that lessens range anxiety and ongoing investment in faster charging stations will certainly influence this process — the next two decades are sure to be an interesting journey and it’s one new car dealers are proud to be a part of.
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Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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