an electric vehicle charging station in Duncan B.C. (Black Press files)

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

The $27 million fund for incentives to buy plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles is going faster than expected, so the B.C. government is charging it up with another $10 million.

The NDP government took over a long-running low-emission vehicle subsidy program and allocated $27 million for new vehicle incentives last fall. Energy Minister Michelle Mungall said Monday the money is on track to run out by the end of September, with incentives for more than 6,000 new vehicles expected.

The point-of sale program is administered by the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. It provides up to $5,000 for purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle or up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

RELATED: Hydrogen vehicles entering B.C. auto market

B.C. has long led the country in adoption of electric vehicles, but they are still a small portion of the traffic on the roads. Electric vehicles were 3.7 per cent of new car sales in June 2018, and between April and June there were 1,400 vehicle incentive applications paid.

The province has a suite of clean energy incentives, including subsidies for charging stations and the emerging hydrogen fuel system, which has one public fuelling station in B.C.

There are incentives for fleet vehicles, and an advertising campaign called “emotive.”

The B.C. NDP government has set its own greenhouse gas reduction targets of a 40 per cent reduction from 2007 levels by 2030, and a 60 per cent reduction by 2040. The previous government gave up on its 2020 target when projections showed it would not be met.

With B.C. powered almost exclusively by hydroelectric sources, transportation is its largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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