Electric vehicle sales explode in British Columbia, with Tesla leading the pack

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According to data from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads of B.C. have more than doubled since 2019.

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The figures, obtained by the Victoria Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA) under a freedom of information of request, show on April 1, 2019 there were 13,727 EVs licensed to operate.

By April 1, 2020, that number had exploded to 29,385. Unsurprisingly, the Tesla Model 3 led the way as the most popular EV in the province.

David Grove, president of the VEVA says the increase shows that residents of B.C. have discovered the wonders of electrification, and the trend is only going to increase in the future.

Residents of British Columbia continue to discover the advantages of electric vehicle ownership in terms of the reductions in operating costs and maintenance, smooth and silent operation, and the reduction of CO2 emissions. The exponential EV growth curve is underway.

Looking closer at a regional basis, the Vancouver Island and Southern Gulf Islands area saw EV ownership increase a whopping 98%, up from 2,843 in March 2019 to 5,613 in 2020.

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That wasn’t even the largest increase in the region. That distinction goes to Campbell River, up 345%. Courtenay (up 272%) and Comox (up 233%) were close behind.

Looking at the figures for Vancouver Island on a per capita basis, the small Gulf Island of Saltspring took the top spot with 21.1 EVs per 1,000 residents. Sidney and Central Saanich were next with 13.6 and 13.1 EVs per 1,000 residents respectively.

The figures are a testament to the effectiveness of incentives in increasing EV adoption. B.C. has a goal of having 100% of new vehicles sales being zero-emission by 2040. To reach that goal, it is one of the few provinces to offer a $3,000 rebate over and above the federal iZEV rebate. Quebec is the other, which offers an $8,000 provincial incentive. B.C. leads Canada with 10% of all passenger sales being zero emission, while Quebec is next with 7%.

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