British Columbia

B.C. government reduces EV rebates to between $1.5K and $3K per vehicle

The B.C. provincial government has changed the electric vehicle incentive program to meet the ongoing demand.

At the same time, B.C. added $26.5 million more to the CEVforBC program

Vehicles purchased or reserved under the previous version of the incentive program will still get the higher rebates. (Chris Helgren/Reuters)

The B.C. provincial government has changed the electric vehicle incentive program — reducing some rebates for buyers — to meet ongoing demand.

An extra $26.5 million is being added to the CEVforBC program, which gives monetary incentives to British Columbians buying electric cars. At the same time, the available rebates and the maximum price for qualifying cars has been lowered so the money stretches further.

"The changes we are making today will ensure it remains accessible and supports even more British Columbians in getting their first clean energy vehicle," said Michelle Mungall, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources in a release.

Starting June 22,  the provincial rebate will be worth $3,000 for battery, fuel-cell and longer-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and $1,500 for shorter-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

This is a reduction from the previous incentives which ranged between $2,500 to $6,000, depending on the kind of car. 

Vehicles that were bought or reserved during the previous incentive programs will still qualify for the higher rebates.

Now, only vehicles sold for under $55,000 qualify for the rebates. 

Previously, the maximum price was $77,000 to qualify. 

The federal rebate of $5,000 for qualifying vehicles, introduced on May 1, is still available. 

B.C. has the highest uptake of zero-emission vehicles in Canada, according to the energy ministry.

"Our recent incentive program has seen huge success – more than we anticipated," a ministry spokesperson said.

In the first part of May, B.C. clean-energy vehicle (CEV) sales rates doubled compared to the latter half of 2018. CEVs include hybrids and other low-emission vehicle types.

In May, zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales in B.C. made up 10.7 per cent of light-duty vehicle sales, according to the ministry.

Public infrastructure 

The ministry says it is working to make EVs easier to charge, so buyers have more of an incentive to go electric. They are providing funding for public direct current fast charge stations for EVs across the province.

On Monday FortisBC and Natural Resources Canada, in partnership with the province, announced 12 new direct current fast charges stations are to be built in Kelowna and the Southern Okanagan/Kootenay region. 

There are currently more than 1,700 public charging stations in B.C., and the ministry says 57 more are planned to be completed by 2020. 

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