BC's Climate Leadership Plan—Electric Vehicles

British Columbia's (BC) Climate Leadership Plan (the Plan), officially released on August 19, 2016, contains important commitments concerning electric vehicles (EVs), in addition to a variety of other actions across six key action areas.

The Plan anticipates that, taken together, its 21 climate actions will achieve emissions reductions of 25 Mt CO2e in 2050, create 66,000 jobs over the next 10 years and generate $5.9 billion in new economic activity. Legislation that came into force in January 2008 requires BC's greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by at least 33% below 2007 levels by 2020 and 80% below 2007 levels by 2050.

EVs and other zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) are central to BC's response to climate change because transportation accounts for 37% of BC's total emissions. The Plan's primary EV-related commitments are to (1) expand the Clean Energy Vehicle program to support new vehicle incentives and infrastructure and (2) expand support for ZEV charging stations in buildings.

Incentives for Purchasing a Clean Energy Vehicle

The Plan commits to expanding the Clean Energy Vehicle program to support new vehicle incentives and infrastructure, as well as education and economic development initiatives. Under the program, BC provides:

  • CEVforBC (TM) vehicle point-of-sale incentives

  • Charging infrastructure investments

  • Hydrogen fuelling infrastructure investments

  • Fleet adoption support & incentives (under development)

  • Research, training & economic development (under development)

  • Emotive public outreach & awareness

Under CEVforBC, residents, businesses, non-profit organizations and local government organizations who purchase or lease qualifying new vehicles are eligible for up to $5,000 off the pre-tax sticker price for qualifying new battery electric, fuel-cell electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. These incentives can be combined with BC's SCRAP-IT program, which encourages drivers to retire older, higher emission vehicles.

Supporting Vehicle Charging Development for ZEVs

The Plan commits to:

  1. Developing regulations to allow local governments to require new buildings to install adequate infrastructure for EV charging; and

  2. Developing policies to facilitate installing EV charging stations in strata buildings and developments (the BC equivalent of condominiums).

In Vancouver, building code requirements already mandate that new one- and two-family dwellings, multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) and commercial buildings be equipped with either EV-supportive wiring and circuitry or a raceway. The requirement applies to a proportion of parking spaces in MURBs (20%) and commercial buildings (10%).

For further information on these and other EV policies, please contact Travis Allan (travis@demarcoallan.com). Readers may also find it useful to consult our menu of select policy options to future proof buildings for EVs.

Photo: "BC's Climate Leadership Plan to cut emissions while growing the economy" by Province of British Columbia is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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