Zero-Emission Vehicles Hit 10% of New Car Sales in British Columbia
British Columbia has surged into a Canada-wide lead in its buying habits for zero-emission vehicles, with electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell cars accounting for 10% of all new purchases, far ahead of a national average of 3.5%.
The new data from Electric Mobility Canada show second-place Quebec well behind B.C., at 7%, CBC reports. EMC founding president Al Cormier attributed B.C.’s results to a combination of incentives, policy, and legislation.
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“All that has provided incentives and encouragements to buyers of vehicles in B.C., to researchers, to companies,” he said. “So generally there are great conditions to promote electric vehicle sales, and it’s working.”
Those inducements include a C$3,000 EV rebate that can be combined with a $5,000 incentive from the federal government, plus $6,000 for trading in an old gas guzzler and financial support to install home EV chargers.
Market analyst Matthew Klippenstein said EV sales in B.C. are about more than just direct financial incentives. “If gas was half the existing price, there would be fewer people purchasing EVs,” he said. “And I do think there has been a strong ethos, a strong green culture in the province of British Columbia for many years.”
He predicted the trend will accelerate as a wider range of EV models—including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and, soon, trucks—enter the market. “It is very promising, because now suddenly you have these options that are more suitable for more people’s lifestyles, which is fantastic,” he said. He estimated the province currently has 30,000 zero-emission vehicles on its roads, accounting for 1% of its passenger fleet.