Following the B.C. government’s announcement of expanding the electric vehicle (EV) rebate, The New Car Dealers Association of BC says the increase will help the province maintain leadership in zero emission sales.
On Aug. 2, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation announced the maximum rebate for battery-electric, fuel-cell electric and long-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will increase from $3,000 to $4,000.
The maximum return for lower-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will go from $1,500 to $2,000
According to the NCDA, which is administering the program, the rebate is the key to success if the province wants to reach its goal of 100 per cent of all light-duty vehicle sales being zero emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2035.
B.C. is Canada’s leading province in the overall percentage of ZEV adoption at 13 per cent as of 2022, according to a report from IHS Markit.
Rebate eligibility is based on income levels, with more than 90 per cent of British Columbians eligible for the rebate based on 2020 income tax returns.
When combined with federal rebates, B.C. residents can save as much as $9,000 on purchasing or leasing a new EV, according to the ministry’s announcement.
“We know that the price of zero emission vehicles is an obstacle for many consumers, particularly those on the lower end of the income spectrum. So, making clean energy vehicles more affordable for those who may need the most help in making the transition is good news,” said Blair Qualey, NDCA president.
Individuals with annual incomes of up to $80,000, or a household with an income up to $125,000, will be eligible for the maximum rebate amounts.
Those with higher personal or household incomes have a decreased eligibility for rebates. Individuals with annual incomes of more than $100,000, or household income of more than $165,000, will not be eligible.
“While we can appreciate that government always faces the difficult position of trying to manage program spending and budgets, we will be watching how changes for higher income participants may impact ZEV uptake,” says Qualey.
More than 18,000 rebate transactions were processed last year, and more than 17 per cent of new vehicle sales were ZEVs in the first quarter of 2022, according to the NCDA.