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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Four-vehicle collision snarls eastbound highway traffic in Chilliwack

Collision west of Lickman Road on Highway 1 includes three vehicles plus motorcycle

Popular retired UFV therapy dog passes away

Mac the Therapy Dog consoled countless students and staff, as well as wildfire victims

Imagination Library Fraser Valley celebrating Christmas in July

Dolly Parton early literacy intiative looking for financial support to help with waitlist

Online submissions now open for virtual Chilliwack Fair

No fee this year to submit entries for food, arts and more in 148th annual Chilliwack Fair

Handgun pointing complaint draws strong RCMP presence at Chilliwack residence Wednesday night

One in custody after brief standoff involving Emergency Response Team and canine unit

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read