- All light duty cars and trucks sold in British Columbia must be emissions-free by 2040 under a law passed by the provincial government.
- The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act phases in the clean vehicle requirements; 10% of all cars and trucks sold must be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025 and 30% must be ZEVs by 2030. According to the government, 6% of all new light-duty sales in the first quarter of 2019 were ZEVs, which the government defines as battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
- The government committed $42 million to clean vehicle incentives in its 2019 budget, supporting a rebate of up to $5,000 Canadian ($3,700 USD) for a battery electric car and $6,000 Canadian ($4,400 USD) for a hydrogen fuel cell car.
The ZEV goals — in the works since last November — bring British Columbia in line with Quebec and 10 U.S. states that have passed ZEV mandates.
In a statement, George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy, said the mandate was meant to spur automakers to "respond to the demand by offering consumers more choices." The CBC reports that consumers have had trouble finding electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, since demand has outstripped supply. A government incentive will force dealers to keep more ZEVs on the lot, speeding up the turnover of the fleet.
The government has also taken steps to make ZEVs more appealing to consumers. Public funding led to 1,700 public chargers throughout the province at the end of 2018, as well as a public hydrogen refueling station. That includes 92 DC fast charging sites, with another 72 fast chargers planned to be installed before the end of the year. The financial incentives also help bring down the up-front cost, typically one of the biggest barriers to an electric vehicle (EV) purchase.
With transportation increasingly the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, governments have taken steps to set ZEV mandates. California has a goal to put 1.5 million ZEV cars on the road by 2025, and 5 million by 2030, and other states have followed suit. U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-OR, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, jointly introduced a bill that would mirror British Columbia's mandate by requiring 100% ZEVs sold by 2040.