OPINION: Making EVs more affordable for people  


NDP MLA for Richmond-Queensborough


MORE and more British Columbians are exploring ways to save money on gas and reduce their carbon footprint by switching to an electric vehicle.

Our BC NDP Government knows that environmentally friendly options should be affordable and accessible to everyone. That’s why we’re improving the CleanBC Go Electric Passenger Vehicle Rebate Program. We’re making electric vehicles more affordable for everyday people by expanding eligibility, implementing income verification, raising the maximum rebate amount, and excluding some luxury vehicles to ensure that rebates are going into the pockets of those who need them most.

Recognizing that some families and businesses require electric vehicles with greater capacity and range, we’re expanding eligibility to include larger vehicles like pickup trucks and vans. We’re also expanding our electric vehicle charging network, so that no matter where you are in the province, there will be a charging station nearby. Here in Richmond, the number of charging sites has increased from 30 to 76 since March 2017, and the number of public and semi-public plugs available has tripled from 71 to 233.

Increasing the maximum rebate from $3,000 to $4,000 means that combined with federal rebates, British Columbians could save up to $9,000 on their electric vehicle. For many, this makes a real difference when it comes to deciding to buy or lease an electric vehicle.

More than 90% of British Columbians are eligible for provincial electric vehicle rebates under this new process. By implementing income verification, we are ensuring that the maximum rebates are received by those who will most benefit from them. Even the highest-income earners who are not eligible for rebates will see a significant reduction in costs, including gas and maintenance, when making the switch to an electric vehicle.

Our government’s CleanBC Go Electric Passenger Vehicle Program extends beyond making electric vehicles affordable. We have also expanded the CleanBC Go Electric EV Maintenance Training program in 2022 to more colleges in B.C., which will provide more automotive technicians with opportunities to upgrade their skills to work on electric vehicles. Seven schools across the province are offering this program.

With the highest reported uptake rates of electric vehicles across North America, B.C. is a leader in the movement to end our reliance on fossil fuels. Because of our CleanBC Go Electric programs and rebates, electric vehicles on B.C. roads have increased from 5,000 in 2016 to more than 85,000 today. We continue to support British Columbians as they make the switch to cleaner forms of transportation.