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Farm and rec vehicles may be exempt from B.C.'s zero-emissions laws

FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2018 file photo, John Deere products, including a toy tractor on the sign, are on display at the "Spring into Spring" home and garden trade show in Council Bluffs, Iowa, John Deere, the maker of agricultural and construction equipment, reported a 46 percent boost in profit to $784.8 million, or $2.42 per share. But earnings, adjusted for pretax gains, came to $2.30 per share, 14 cents short of industry analyst projections, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, FIle)

The plan is for new trucks over 8,500 lbs to be exempt from clean energy vehicle laws

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — There’s a chance your favourite truck will be exempt from future clean-energy-vehicle laws.

The provincial government is clarifying that newly purchased recreational vehicles won’t have to be zero emissions after 2040.

That’s partly because there likely won’t be a green alternative ready in time, says Rachelle Tomm, president of the Four Wheel Drive Association of B.C. Until then, she wants the government to consider potential impacts on recreation and tourism.

“So there just isn’t a huge incentive for automotive makers to make advancements in the zero-emission technology for off road vehicles,” says Tomm. “We need vehicles that are durable and reliable and can handle that crazy terrain and the weather changing and all that sort of stuff.”

Stan Vander Waal, president of the BC Agriculture Council, echoes Tomm’s doubts about zero-emission technology for trucks and says he’s concerned about access on rural farms.

“I look at this and just say, really, you think we’re gonna be all electric on farms by 2040? I don’t think so,” Vander Waal quips.

“We’re hoping that the government has got some great background on how they’re actually going to help us get there because at this point I think it’s a bit of a dream,” Vander Waal adds. “There’s an awful lot of areas in rural B.C. that there’s is no chance this going to happen by 2040.”

There are no real zero-emission options to replace full-sized pick-ups, so for now the plan is for new trucks over 8,500 lbs to be exempt from clean energy vehicle laws. More details are expected when legislation is tabled in the spring.

In the meantime, the province says its next round of consultations on the legislation will be focused on automakers.