British Columbia

Electric vehicles more affordable under new incentive plan

The B.C. government and the non-profit society, Scrap-It, are encouraging drivers to buy electric cars.

B.C.'s Scrap-It program offering 3,250 rebate on trade-in of old cars for electric vehicles

Non profit Scrap-It is offering rebates of $3,250 on old car trade-ins to be used toward the purchase of an electric vehicle. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Buying an electric vehicle is about to get a little easier and a lot cheaper.

Scrap-It, a non-profit society, is offering British Columbians a $3,250 rebate to trade in old vehicles for electric cars which the group says will work in conjunction with a soon-to-be-announced provincial government initiative.

"It's got to a point where there are a lot of electric vehicles out there and we thought people with older cars could find this appealing now," said Dennis Rogoza, chief executive officer of Scrap-It.

Scrap-It plans to give B.C. residents a rebate when they trade in a car made on or before 2000 for one of 11 different kinds of electric vehicles

The government will make an announcement detailing plans to reintroduce the Clean Energy Vehicle Program on Monday, said Energy Minister Bill Bennett.

"British Columbians who purchase electric vehicles typically save about 75 percent on their fuel costs. That adds up to $1,600 per year," Bennett said.

However, the ministry says electric vehicles are about 25 percent more expensive than other vehicles.

"The Clean Energy Vehicle program will provide a new incentive that will help British Columbians purchase electric vehicles," said Bennett.

Money for the provincial initiative to be announced Monday will come from the $10.5 million set aside in the recent provincial budget.

Under the plan, $7.5 million would be spent on point-of-sale incentives, and dealer and sales staff incentives for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

There is $1.5 million available for vehicle charging and hydrogen fuelling infrastructure and $1 million to help fleets adopt carbon emissions-based vehicle schemes [CEVs]. Another $500,000 has been set aside for research.

The initiative between the the government and Scrap-It is aimed at reducing vehicle emissions.

Scrap-It has been working to cut emissions since 1996. During that time about 37,600 old cars have been retired through the program.

With files from Farrah Merali

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