Public electric car charging station at Edgmont on the Sunshine Coast.

B.C. joins clean vehicle club in Paris

Zero-emission vehicles group wants to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions 40 per cent by 2050.

With 2,000 electric vehicles and charging stations in place and a program to keep subsidizing their purchase and use, B.C. has joined an elite club of countries and U.S. states.

Capping her second week at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris, Environment Minister Mary Polak announced Thursday that B.C. has joined the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance.

The alliance hopes to reduce vehicle emissions 40 per cent by 2050, promoting use of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Its members include Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the U.K., California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Quebec.

In 2011, B.C. replaced its earlier $2,000 subsidy for hybrid cars with a clean energy vehicle program that pays between $2,500 and $5,000 in point-of-sale rebates for new battery electric, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell or natural gas vehicles.

It also offered a $500 subsidy for installing a dedicated vehicle charging station at home through LiveSmart BC, a program that ended in 2014 and was replaced.

Natural gas power has mainly been limited to short-haul truck fleets based around a central fuelling station. B.C. ran pilot projects with hydrogen fuel-cell transit buses in Victoria and Whistler, but they were wound up after the 2010 Olympics.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett acknowledged that electric vehicles are mainly confined to urban areas in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island.

Asked how the program appears from rural areas, where taxpayers with muddy pickups subsidize sleek electric cars driven by wealthy West Coasters, Bennett said the program is funded out of natural gas royalties, not general taxation.

He noted that B.C. is better suited to electric vehicles than many places that burn goal or natural gas to generate electricity, and is setting an example for other jurisdictions.

 

Just Posted

Canada’s first home game in the America Rugby Championships comes this Friday

It’s Canada versus Chile Feb. 22 at Westhills Stadium in Langford

Canadian Premier League announces media partnership with international broadcaster

Langford Mayor Stew Young said partnership is a “big deal” for Langford

Disturbance near Saanich Plaza

Emergency crews on scene for Blanshard Street call

Victoria mayor preparing to tour Alberta oil sands

Lisa Helps heads to Alberta after an invitation came from Calgary councillor Ward Sutherland

Canadians spent more than $8 billion on pet-related items in 2017

Fifty-seven per cent of Canadian households own pets

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

Regulator’s report unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline expansion battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Most Read