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The Surge in Electric Vehicle Popularity

The Surge in Electric Vehicle Popularity

January 23, 2019

If you believe 2019 is the year when you or your family transitions to an electric vehicle (EV), you won’t be alone.

Last year, the New Car Dealers Association of BC (NCDA), commissioned a survey that showed 40 per cent of respondents were considering the purchase of a new vehicle in the next 12-months, and more than half of those said they would consider the purchase of a clean energy vehicle (electrics or plug-in hybrids). Those results certainly rang true, as 2018 was a record year for EV sales in this province and there is every indication the trend will continue.

There are a number of factors contributing to the increasing popularity of EVs but likely none more important than a finding confirmed in a Desrosiers Automotive report this month. The report suggested BC has the oldest fleet of vehicles on the road, in the country, with an average age of 11.73 years. If nothing else, this underlines the need to remove as many heavy-polluting vehicles from our roads in favour of greener, cleaner transportation.

Of course, one of the factors for consumers in making the transition is that of cost. As a means of making EVs more affordable, the CEVforBC Program, which the NCDA administers on behalf of the Government of BC, offers BC residents and businesses up to $6,000 dollars for the purchase or lease of eligible clean energy vehicles (see the full list here: cevforbc.ca). The SCRAP-IT® Program also provides an incentive to remove older than 2008 internal combustion engine vehicles from our roads and replace it with a clean energy vehicle.

As many readers will know, the Vancouver International Auto Show is geared towards car enthusiasts of all kinds, whether they have a love of sports cars, pick-up trucks, sedans, supercars, concept cars, or anything in between. The 99th annual Show, taking place between March 19-24 will have something for everyone – including those who have an interest in electric vehicles.

In addition, the increasingly popular EVE test drive event has become a key feature of the Auto Show and will have an expanded show case of electric, and plug-in hybrid vehicles, building on a program that enjoyed a great deal of public interest and participation last year. So for those who want to experience an EV and test drive a variety of models, check out the Electric Vehicle Experience (EVE) test drive event, presented by CEVforBC and charging provider, FLO. While vehicle choices for the test drives have not been finalized, they will include popular models such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, Kia Soul EV, Mitsubishi Outlander, Chrysler Pacifica, and VW e-golf.

Check out the list of test drive options and purchase your tickets here: www.VancouverInternationalAutoShow.com/experience/test-drives/

Through the CEVforBC Program, the NCDA has created competition between dealerships across BC to determine who can reach the highest level of sales of clean energy vehicles, across all brands. Recipients of the prestigious CEVforBC Green Star Dealer Awards® will once again be honoured at the Auto Show for their exceptional commitment and pivotal role they play in creating a green economy. It’s a role that is obviously important from a business perspective, but we can also never lose sight of the significance of cleaner, greener transportation for current and future generations.

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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