VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The province wants to make every new vehicle sold in the province emissions-free within the next 20 years.
Premier John Horgan announced plans Tuesday to introduce legislation next spring which would implement a phased ban to the sale of new gas and diesel vehicles by 2040. The rules, if passed, would put quotas on car dealerships to make 10 per cent of their new car sales zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025, 30 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2040.
“No time better than the present to get yourself into a zero-emission vehicle,” Horgan said. “As a province, we need to work together to put B.C. on a path that powers our future with clean, renewable energy and reduces air pollution.”
The move is part of the BC NDP government’s climate action plan to reduce emissions in B.C. by 80 per cent by 2050. It is accompanied by plans to bring the number of charging stations across the province to 151. Currently, 71 stations are either done or being built.
“The B.C. ZEV mandate is an exciting development that will support British Columbians as we make the shift to the low-carbon economy,” Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said.
“Scientists around the world have been warning decision makers for decades about the importance of dealing with emissions of greenhouse gases.”
An electric vehicle owner himself, Weaver praised ZEVs as “quiet, clean, and zippy.”
The province will also put $20 million into incentive programs, administered by the New Car Dealers Association of BC, to encourage people to buy ZEVs and make them more affordable for middle and low-income drivers. The money brings the total amount of tax money spent on the program to $57 million. The program was increased by $30 million in September.
Ontario scrapped its emissions targets and cap-and-trade system in October, a move Horgan says could increase the supply of ZEVs in B.C. However, there have been criticisms that forcing companies to sell a certain percentage of ZEVs in one province will reduce supplies in other parts of the country.
B.C. has 12,000 registered clean energy vehicles, which, according to the province, is the highest adoption rate in Canada.