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

Bail denied for alleged Chilliwack firearm thief convicted of similar crime in Alberta

Andrew Scott Charpentier charged with numerous offences after guns seized from Reece Avenue address

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Young Chilliwack singer launches career with French classic

Deanne Ratzlaff performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose in Chilliwack, London and Paris

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read