Every new car sold in 2040 will be zero-emission, B.C. government says

Premier John Horgan said the government is planning to introduce legislation in the spring to gradually phase in targets for the sale of electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and will take steps to make those vehicles cheaper.

Province says it will take steps to make electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles more affordable

Electric vehicles, like the Kia Soul EV, are becoming more popular around the world, including this one charging up on the streets of London. ( Go Ultra Low/Getty Images)

All new cars and trucks sold in B.C. in the year 2040 will have to be zero-emission vehicles, the premier promised Tuesday.

John Horgan said the government is planning to introduce legislation in the spring to gradually phase in targets for the sale of electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and will take steps to make those vehicles cheaper.

"If we want British Columbians to be part of the solution for reducing air pollution, we need to make clean energy vehicles more affordable, available and convenient," Horgan said in a news release.

Premier John Horgan, right, announced the province's new targets for zero-emission vehicles with Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver at his side. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

The proposed legislation would require 10 per cent of all new light-duty vehicles sold by 2025 to produce zero emissions. That percentage would jump to 30 per cent by 2030 and then 100 per cent by 2040.

As part of the plan, the government says it's boosting the provincial incentive program for new car buyers by $20 million this year and will look at expanding the program over time. Right now, anyone who buys an electric car is eligible for up to $5,000 in incentives; people who buy hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can receive up to $6,000.

The province is also planning to more than double the number of electric charging stations to 151.

Right now, 12,000 clean energy vehicles are registered in B.C., which the province says is the highest adoption rate in the country.