British Columbia

B.C. boosts electric-vehicle rebate to a maximum of $4K

The provincial government announced an increase to its electric and hybrid rebate program on Tuesday, part of its efforts to make it easier for British Columbians to buy electric vehicles.

Provincial rebate for lower-range plug-in hybrids increased to $2,000

A plugged-in dark blue electric vehicle.
An electric vehicle charges in Ottawa in early July. The B.C. government says by upping its rebate on electric and hybrid vehicles, British Columbians can save as much as $9,000 after combining provincial and federal credits. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

The B.C. government says it is boosting its rebate program for electric vehicles to make them more affordable and accessible.

A statement from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation says the maximum provincial return for battery-electric, fuel-cell electric and long-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles has been increased from $3,000 to $4,000.

The maximum rebate for lower-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles has been increased to $2,000 from the previous high of $1,500.

The ministry says eligibility for a rebate will be based on income levels, with someone who earns up to $80,000, or a household with an income up to $125,000, eligible for the maximum rebate.

As personal or household income goes up, rebate eligibility decreases on a sliding scale until those with a personal income above $100,000 or households with incomes above $165,000 are no longer entitled to a discount.

The statement says 2020 income tax returns show more than 90 per cent of B.C. residents are eligible for an EV rebate and can save as much as $9,000 on the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle when combined with federal incentives.

'Positive steps' 

Blair Qualey, president of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C., says the improved rebates will make zero-emission vehicles more affordable for lower-income individuals.

Qualey called the changes "positive steps" and said his association is hoping for more.

"While we can appreciate that government always faces the difficult position of trying to manage program spending and budgets, we will be watching how changes for higher-income participants may impact [zero-emission vehicle] uptake,'' Qualey said in a statement.

The price cap to determine eligibility for vehicle rebates in B.C. remains at a maximum of $55,000 for compact and full-sized cars, but the energy ministry says a second category is being added to support those requiring larger EVs, such as soon-to-arrive mini vans, SUVs and pickup trucks.

The cap for those vehicles has been set at a maximum retail price of $70,000.

B.C. says it also increased affordability of used EVs this year by making them exempt from provincial sales tax.

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