The number of electric vehicles (EVs) in British Columbia has increased over 1,600% in the last six years, helping the province to maintain its title as having the highest rate of EV adoption in any jurisdiction in North America.
Bruce Ralston, B.C.’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation announced the figures on Wednesday, revealing that 17% of all new light-duty passenger vehicles sold in B.C. in the first quarter of 2022 were electric.
That is a notable increase from 2021, where 13% of new light-duty cars registered in all of 2021 were zero-emission.
“With the highest reported uptake rates of EVs in North America, B.C. is a leader in the movement to end our reliance on fossil fuels,” Ralston said.
According to B.C. government figures, 5,000 light-duty EVs were registered in the province in 2016. Today that number has ballooned to more than 85,000.
The province attributes the large increase to their CleanBC Go Electric Program, which provides rebates on new EVs as well as home charging solutions. This year the government also expanded the program to make used EV purchases exempt from the 7% provincial sales tax (PST).
“This early CleanBC success story shows how good policy, effective partnerships and public investment can lead to escalating change and rapid, positive results,” said George Heyman Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
The CleanBC Go Electric program has provided over 53,000 rebates, of which 18,533 were issued last year.
B.C. was the first jurisdiction in the world to have a 100% zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) law. The province wants all new light-duty passenger car sales to be zero emission by 2035, an increase from their original target of 2040. They also recently announced phased in targets in 2026 (26%) and 2030 (90%).