Energy Minister Bill Bennett looks at the power system of a plug-in electric vehicle on display at the Vancouver International Auto Show.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett looks at the power system of a plug-in electric vehicle on display at the Vancouver International Auto Show.

B.C. recharges rebate for electric vehicles

Up to $5,000 for plug-in hybrid or battery-only car under program that starts April 1

The B.C. government has revived its emission-free vehicle subsidy program, offering up to $5,000 to buyers of battery-powered and plug-in hybrid cars.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett announced the program at the Vancouver Convention Centre as it set up for the annual auto show this week. B.C. will spend $10.6 million, most of it for vehicle purchase rebates and the rest to finance new car charging stations.

The program takes effect April 1 and is funded to continue until March 2018. Those scrapping a 2000-or-older vehicle can receive an additional $3,250 toward a new battery electric or eligible plug-in hybrid under the BC Scrap-It program.

Even with the rebate, an electric car is more expensive to buy than a comparable gasoline-powered vehicle, but the fuel savings average about $1,600 a year compared to gasoline.

B.C.’s last electric vehicle rebate program ran from 2011 to 2014, subsidizing the purchase of 950 electric vehicles and more than 1,000 charging stations.

[Charging locations are available here. For eligible vehicles, click here.]

Bennett said electric vehicles and charging stations are not just a big-city option, and some are used in his home town of Cranbrook and other towns across the province, despite their shorter range.

“Anybody with a 200-amp service can put a 30-amp breaker on their panel, put a charging station in their driveway or in their garage and charge their vehicle at home,” he said.

That option won’t qualify for any provincial subsidy, other than for the vehicle.

The program also includes rebates of up to $6,000 for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which are still not sold in B.C.

Hydrogen vehicles were heavily promoted leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics, with a fleet of 20 transit buses provided for Whistler. They were parked late last year, after bringing in hydrogen fuel from Quebec to keep them running. If they can’t be sold they will be converted to diesel.

Hydrogen fuel cell cars are available in California, although at least one manufacturer expects to have them available in B.C. within two years, Bennett said.

 

Just Posted

The Port Alberni Bombers are one of the newest teams in the VIJHL. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni Bombers to host first ID camp for roster spots

Roster spots for the Junior B team will be filled at the conclusion of the camp

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read