Government of British Columbia announces new electric vehicle sales targets

Minister Ralston

The Government of British Columbia announced today new electric vehicle sales targets meant to help accelerate the province’s CleanBC plan.

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Energy Minister Bruce Ralston, along with Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada made the announcement Thursday, saying it would be a “major step forward that will ensure by 2040 every new car in B.C. will be an EV“.

Following in the footsteps of other jurisdictions like Quebec and California, automakers will now have to meet new phased in year-by-year EV sales targets.

The province has been working closely with EV automakers in setting the targets, which are meant to ensure that when a customer walks into a dealership, an EV should be available to test drive, or to buy one to take home.

Smith says the new regulations send an “important message to automakers that B.C. is serious about EV adoption, so send your cars here.

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The ZEV Act, passed in 2019, requires automakers to meet increasing annual levels of EV sales reaching 10% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040. Exact details of the new targets will be announced soon.

According to data from BC Hydro, an EV costs six times less to operate than a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, thanks to lower fuel and maintenance costs.

British Columbia is already home to one of the highest rates of EV adoption in North America. Based on figures released late last year, approximately 9% of all light-duty vehicle (ICE and EV) sales in the province sales are electric.

In numbers released earlier this week through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to ICBC, the number of EVs on the road in B.C. more than doubled from 13,727 in April 2019 to 29,385 a year later. The most popular EV in the province is the Tesla Model 3, which qualifies for the $3,000 provincial rebate.

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