New incentive to make clean energy vehicles more affordable

NEWS 1TO make clean energy vehicles more affordable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Province will offer incentives of up to $5,000 for the purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett announced on Monday.

When combined with new SCRAP-IT program incentives, total savings could be up to $8,250 for an electric vehicle.

The new incentives are part of Phase 2 of the Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) Program which starts on April 1, 2015, and will distribute $10.6 million from the Province’s Innovative Clean Energy Fund over the next three years for the following purposes:

* $7.5 million for point-of-sale incentives for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

* $1.59 million for investments in charging infrastructure and hydrogen fuelling infrastructure.

* $1 million for incentives for commercial fleet purchases of clean energy vehicles.

* $500,000 for research, training, and public outreach on clean energy transportation technology.

Today, electric vehicles typically cost about 25% more than non-electric vehicles but can save drivers about 75% on their fuel costs, which adds up to $1,600 per year. The incentives will narrow the price gap and encourage more British Columbians to purchase an electric vehicle.

Most electric vehicles do not have the same range as non-electric vehicles. To make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to “fill the tank,” an analysis will be conducted to identify gaps in the location of charging infrastructure and determine the most effective way to deploy infrastructure funding. This will include looking at issues such as what locations (multi-unit residential buildings, downtown parking areas, shopping centres, etc.) would best support increased use of electric vehicles.

The first phase of the CEV program ran from 2011 to 2014 and helped support the purchase of 950 electric vehicles and the development of over 1,000 charging stations, and resulted in 57,000 tonnes of direct emissions reductions.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines will administer and implement the CEV program through partnerships with the New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia, the Fraser Basin Council, and the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association.

The ICE Fund is designed to support government’s energy and environmental priorities and advance British Columbia’s clean energy sector. It receives funding through a 0.4% levy on the final sale of specified energy products such as natural gas, fuel oil and grid-delivered propane.

New incentive to make clean energy vehicles more affordable

Bennett said: “With the Clean Energy Vehicle program, we’re providing incentives that will make electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles more affordable for British Columbians, and expanding the charging and fuelling infrastructure to make it easier to ‘fill the tank.’ ”

Mary Polak, Minister of Environment, saiud: “Encouraging and promoting environmentally friendly transportation is part of a broader strategy to ensure British Columbia remains a climate action leader. With transportation representing 37% of total provincial greenhouse gas emissions, clean energy vehicles are essential to reducing emissions and maintaining healthy air quality.”


Quick Facts:

* Vehicles are responsible for 45% of B.C.’s household greenhouse gas emissions.

* Compared to a 2000 model year or older vehicle, a clean energy vehicle would reduce emissions by about 5.6 tonnes per year.

* Compared to a new internal combustion vehicle, a clean energy vehicle reduces emissions by about three tonnes per year.