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British Columbia Pushes for Zero-emission Vehicles, Sets 2040 Deadline

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【Summary】By committing to the future of zero-emission vehicles, British Columbia will be joining Quebec in becoming a city that is open to sustainable energy practices.

Michael Cheng    Nov 26, 2018 4:50 PM PT
British Columbia Pushes for Zero-emission Vehicles, Sets 2040 Deadline
author: Michael Cheng   

Many countries and major cities worldwide have cleared the way for the proliferation of zero-emission vehicles. The British Columbia is the latest location to announce new zero-emission goals, with a phase-out deadline of 2040. During the transition, the local government will prioritize electrified and hydrogen-powered cars.

Moreover, it intends to roll out several benefits and programs to promote sales, as well as usability. By committing to the future of zero-emission vehicles, British Columbia will be joining Quebec in becoming a city that is open to sustainable energy practices.

Quebec's zero-emission goals, which passed legislation in 2016, targets new sales and leases of such vehicles to reach 15.5 percent by 2020. In the country, EV sales are rapidly growing, with figures almost doubling in the past year (according to data from FleetCarma).

2040 Goals

Following Quebec's framework for zero-emission vehicles, British Columbia will roll out new targets for local auto sales. By 2025, zero-emission vehicles should make up roughly 10 percent of new sales. By 2030, the target is set at 30 percent; and 100 percent by 2040. It is important to point out that the targets are only applicable to new light-duty cars and trucks. Analysts believe the program, if implemented properly, could reduce local demand for oil and enable sustainable transportation alternatives.

"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," said John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia.

Interestingly, there are currently 12,000 sustainable energy vehicles registered in British Columbia. With such figures, the location boasts the highest adoption rate for EVs in the country. To support clean-energy vehicles, the city claims to operate one of the largest EV charging and hydrogen fueling networks in the region.

"[Right now], 12,000 clean energy vehicles are registered in B.C., which the province says is the highest adoption rate in the country," highlighted CBC News.

Incentives and Benefits

Part of the government's plan to boost sales of zero-emission vehicles entails incentive programs and new EV infrastructure. For this year, the group is in the process of allocating $20 million worth of incentives (bringing the overall total to $57 million), with plans to increase the amount in the future to make costs more enticing for local buyers. Existing rebates include up to $5,000 toward purchases of EVs and plug-in hybrid units. This rate increases to $6,000 for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

"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," explained CBC News.

Lastly, there are also plans to setup EV charging stations at busy areas across the city. The government is looking into networks consisting of fast-charging hubs, which are expected to play an influential role in EV adoption. The top 3 EVs in Canada (based on sales) are the following: Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt.

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