Rebates to rev up electric cars

B.C. offers breaks for clean vehicles, charge stations

A Nissan Leaf at an electric charging station in Amsterdam. The Leaf is one of the plug-in electric vehicles that will be eligible for B.C. rebates starting in December.

New car buyers in B.C. will get a break of up to $5,000 if they choose a vehicle powered by electricity, hydrogen or compressed natural gas.

The point-of-sale rebate unveiled by the provincial government is part of $17 million in funding to help rev up the future of clean energy vehicles in B.C.

The $2,500-to-$5,000 rebate starts Dec. 1 and covers qualifying new battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell electric, plug-in hybrid electric and natural gas models.

“Manufacturers are eager to launch their new electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell cars in markets that demonstrate both high demand and with infrastructure in place,” New Car Dealers Association of B.C. CEO Blair Qualey said. “B.C. is now one of those markets.”

New Democrats noted incentives for electric cars aren’t new – B.C. had exempted them from PST until 2008.

But Environment Minister Terry Lake predicted the rebates will encourage buyers to go green by reducing the cost of vehicles with little to no emissions.

Battery-powered electric cars cost as little as $300 per year in electricity compared to $1,500 or more for a gas-powered vehicle.

Homeowners can also get an up to $500 rebate through LiveSmartBC if they install dedicated electric vehicle battery charging stations in their homes.

That covers about a third of the cost of the specialized outlets, which cut recharging times in half to about six hours.

Lake also pledged $6.5 million for electric vehicle charging points and upgrading existing hydrogen fueling stations.

Surrey recently unveiled free public electric vehicle charging stations at its city hall and is already host to two hydrogen fueling stations.

Mercedes-Benz Canada plans to make fuel cell stacks for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles at a plant in Burnaby.

B.C. is also extending the Scrap-It program, which offers owners of heavily polluting older vehicles either cash or incentives like bus passes or car-share memberships to take their old gas guzzler off the road.

The push towards electric cars will put more pressure on B.C.’s power grid.

Green energy advocate David Field said B.C. needs to ensure the required power comes from renewable clean sources, not imported coal-fired electricity.

The province is trying to restrain electricity rate increases at B.C. Hydro, raising doubts about whether it will continue to pay extra for green energy to foster new run-of-river power plants and windmills.

Just Posted

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Port Alberni bands ‘out of the basement’ and onto an album

Two bands, products of the Alberni Valley’s school of rock, celebrate their CD debut

Stephen Novik takes the mic at Words on Fire in Port Alberni

Event takes place Aug. 29 at Char’s Landing

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

$5-million lotto ticket sold in Nanaimo

Someone matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s 6/49 draw

Most Read