In late 2016, the New Brunswich government laid out a climate action plan, which targeted having 2,500 electric vehicles (EV’s) on the road by 2020, and 20,000 by 2030.
But a recent update from the government showed the province didn’t come close to meeting that target, with just 429 EV’s registered in the province at the end of 2019.
Those numbers are in stark contrast to British Columbia (B.C.), which reported that in the third quarter of 2019 alone, sold approximately 2,415 electric vehicles, according to a report from Global.
The blame is being laid at the feet of the provincial government, which according to the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, has done nothing to help spur EV adoption.
Part of the problem cited has been the high initial price of EV’s and the lack of provincial incentives to help grow EV adoption. It has been proven that measures like these work, with both B.C. and Quebec topping the list with 10% and 7% of all passenger vehicle sales respectively being EVs.
Both provinces offer incentives over and above the federal iZEV rebate, with B.C. offering $3,000 and Quebec offering $8,000 off the price of qualified EV’s.
The other part of the problem, according to local dealers, is a general lack of interest in EV’s. One dealership in Fredericton does not stock electric vehicles because they feel there is not interest, and only get about two inquiries per year.
On the other hand, if you were to ask locals, it is the dealerships that have no interest in EV’s, doing everything they can to steer people away from electric vehicles.
Whatever the reason, it is clear something needs to be done to help grow EV adoption in New Brunswick. A good first step would be to introduce a provincial incentive.