Regs in place to aim toward all EV sales by 2040
Regulations are in place outlining how B.C. will reduce pollution and make the switch to 100% electric-vehicle sales by 2040.
The regulations follow the Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Act that was passed last year and fulfils the CleanBC commitment to implement a ZEV standard.
“British Columbians are eager to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle, help reduce air pollution and save on fuel costs, but price and availability can be barriers,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Today we are one step closer to ensuring that in less than 20 years, every new car sold in B.C. will be a zero-emission vehicle powered by clean electricity.”
The ZEV Act, passed in 2019, requires automakers to meet increasing annual levels of EV sales reaching 10% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040. The new ZEV regulation sets phased-in annual targets and other compliance requirements, ensuring automakers increase the number and type of EVs that they sell in B.C. to meet consumer demand.
Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka said he supports ZEV as long as it is practical and something that reflects choice and demand.
“The ZEV target to be 100% new Zero Emission Vehicle sales in B.C. by 2040 is an ambitious goal and something I can get behind as long as it is practical and something that reflects choice and demand,” said the Official Opposition Critic for Energy and Mines.
“Technology will have to advance in tandem with these preset benchmarks in order to do this sustainably. Infrastructure to accommodate this transition needs to be firmly in place in order to avoid failure in our transportation network and supply chain.
“We have already seen the commercial and industrial sector make this move in the last several years because it made practical and economic sense. Our local coal mine operations have moved to electrifying its operations as have many commercial businesses. This natural movement away from internal combustion engines is healthy and encouraged. However, we need to be mindful of what we have and where we need to go. Industry is evolving and we are getting better all the time,” Shypitka said.
EV sales in B.C. made up nine per cent of light-duty vehicle sales in 2019, as well as in the first half of 2020 – the highest sales rate in Canada. Budget 2020 invested an additional $20 million in point-of-purchase rebates to make EVs more affordable, helping British Columbians choose cleaner transportation options and save on fuel costs.
“Growing numbers of British Columbians are switching to electric vehicles and benefiting from an improved driving experience, zero air pollution and much lower fuel and maintenance costs,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We’re supporting this transition by making electric vehicles and charging more affordable and available around the province. These changes will help us to build a cleaner, better future where all new vehicles are zero emission.”
The ZEV regulation was informed by engagement and consultation with stakeholders, including the auto industry, local governments and environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs). Following comments received during consultation, a technical review of the ZEV regulation will be held at regular intervals to review market trends, receive input from stakeholders and allow for any necessary adjustments.
A ZEV advisory council will be established to provide input into the ministry’s EV programming and policies including the ZEV regulation. The advisory council will be comprised of industry, ENGOs, local governments, First Nations, infrastructure providers and academics.
CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.
“The B.C. ZEV mandate is an exciting development in British Columbia’s shift toward the low-carbon economy. The ZEV sales requirement was a key part of the CleanBC plan that I worked in collaboration with government to build, and I’m pleased that this important milestone has been achieved,” Weaver said.
“Electric vehicle sales are growing rapidly and it’s vital that supply keeps up with demand. It’s simple. If you want an electric car in this province, you should be able to drive one home from the lot, same as any car. This new zero-emission vehicle regulation ensures we’ll have more of the electric vehicles British Columbians want, saving them thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance costs while also cutting pollution,” said Merran Smith, executive director, Clean Energy Canada.
“While setting up EV adoption targets is important, regulating EV sales to reach a 100% target by 2040 shows how serious the B.C. government is about climate change and EV adoption. The new ZEV regulation is an important step in the right direction,” added Daniel Breton, president and CEO, Electric Mobility Canada.
With the passage of the legislation, B.C. joined a growing number of jurisdictions with EV standards, including Quebec, California and nine other U.S. states, and became the first jurisdiction in the world to legislate a 100% EV target.
CleanBC’s Go Electric program offers point-of-purchase rebates of up to $3,000 for the purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle for vehicles less than $55,000.
Shypitka pointed out that more electric vehicles will mean more mining.
“As Opposition critic for Energy and Mines, I can tell you without reservation that our low carbon emission disruptive technologies in mining are leading the way across the globe. In order to facilitate the introduction of a 90% increase in electric vehicles and infrastructure then we will now need mining more than ever,” he said.
“Metallurgical coal from the Elk Valley and the Northeast Peace Region, copper from our B.C. mines of the interior as well as other base and precious metals from B.C.’s golden triangle in the northwest will be a healthy and green choice to get our targets met.
“We can all get behind a greener tomorrow and improving our quality of life. These are goals to pursue. Let’s be diligent in our ambitious goals but let’s keep it practical in order to be successful,” he concluded.