Over 50,000 EVs on the road in B.C.

A record number of British Columbians have switched to electric vehicles (EVs) with more than 54,000 light-duty EVs registered in B.C., according to the newly released 2020 annual zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) update.

“With the highest reported uptake rates of EVs in North America, B.C. is quickly becoming a leader in the EV industry,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Despite challenges from the pandemic, our EV sales remained steady in 2020, making it clear that British Columbians are committed to meeting our CleanBC goals and our transition to a clean energy future.”

According to the report, British Columbians are also adopting EV technology for less traditional vehicles, such as motorcycles and cargo e-bikes, through the Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive (SUVI) program. Since the relaunch of the SUVI program in 2017, nearly 550 rebates have been provided for eligible vehicles.

“People in communities across British Columbia are increasingly choosing electric vehicles to reduce air pollution, and for a better driving experience and lower operating costs,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “This transition is happening because EVs and charging stations are becoming more affordable and available through CleanBC. By investing in cleaner, more affordable transportation options of all kinds, we’re reducing climate pollution and supporting new opportunities for people in a stronger economy.”

With a growing number of EVs on B.C. roads, the annual report also highlights measures the Province is taking through ongoing and new CleanBC Go Electric programs to ensure the increasing demand for EVs is supported with vehicle and charging infrastructure rebates, education and training and the expansion of a public charging network.

B.C. is not alone in its push toward greater EV uptake. The United States is setting ambitious new goals around EV manufacturing, deployment and charging, which could lead to even greater access to EV infrastructure around the continent for EV drivers.

The annual ZEV update tracks British Columbia’s progress respecting its zero-emission vehicle targets, and the 2020 update is the first report required under the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, which was implemented in 2019.

Quick Facts

* As of December 2020, 54,469 EVs were on the road in B.C., leading to an estimated 216,000 tonnes in emission reductions per year.

* EV owners see immediate savings on fuel costs – about $1,800 every year for the average B.C. driver.

* B.C. has one of the largest public charging networks and the first cluster of public hydrogen fuelling stations in Canada. At the end of 2020, there were over 2,500 public charging stations in B.C.

* The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act requires automakers to meet increasing annual levels of ZEV sales to reach 10% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

* B.C. is well on its way to exceeding the 2025 targets with light-duty EV sales representing 9.4% of all new light-duty vehicle sales in B.C. in 2020.