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New rules mean no gas-powered vehicle sales by 2040 in B.C.

Electric Vehicle charging - Getty Images
Electric vehicle charging at home. (via Getty Images)

The B.C. government has no desire to see anyone buying gas-powered vehicles in 20 years.

The province announced today (July 30) it’s implemented new rules to ensure all vehicle sales will be for zero-emission rides by 2040.

Those zero-emission vehicles include battery electric, hydrogen fuel-cell electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

The regulations follow the May 2019 passing of the Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Act in B.C.

The ZEV Act requires automakers to reach annual electric vehicle (EV) sales of 10 per cent of light-duty vehicles by 2025, 30 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2040.

EV sales accounted for nine per cent of light-duty vehicle sales in B.C., according to Clean Energy Canada.

“Waitlists are still too common for British Columbians who wish to get their hands on an electric car,” Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada, said in a statement.

“These laws will help supply keep pace with demand, while sending a clear signal to the market that B.C. is a place that wants their cars.”

The province currently offers rebates worth between $1,500 to $3,000, depending on the vehicle, for EVs costing less than $55,000.

That’s down from last year when rebates were worth up to $6,000 for vehicles costing up to $77,000.

The federal government, meanwhile, offers up to $5,000 in rebates for EVs under $45,000.

If a B.C. owner of an older car is eligible, they can also get a rebate from the provincial Scrap-It program amounting to $6,000.

That means some British Columbians can qualify for incentives of up to $14,000 for the increasingly popular vehicles.

In 2018, Clean Energy Canada contacted B.C.’s 322 dealerships that qualify for the government’s rebate program and found that 40 per cent had EVs available to purchase on their lots.

“If you want an electric vehicle in this province, you should be able to drive one home from the lot, same as any car,” Smith said.

B.C.’s plans for the 100 per cent EV target put it in the same position as Quebec and 10 U.S. states.

Meanwhile, the province also announced Thursday it was increasing rebates for e-bikes.

Drivers who trade in a vehicle to scrap are now eligible of a rebate of $1,050 towards the purchase of a new e-bike compared with the previous $850 rebate.

Victoria is providing $1,000 of the rebate, while participating retailers are providing the remaining $50.

The province is also launching a one-year pilot program offering $1,700 rebates to business owners who purchase a cargo e-bike for deliveries.