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

Money in to finish Lougheed Highway twinning

Feds announce $29 million to complete four laning of four-kilometre stretch in Maple Ridge

Campers expect 100 per cent online reservations at Golden Ears next season

Maple Ridge group has been fighting to keep drive in bookings

Maple Ridge council will be asked to declare climate emergency

Vancouver, London and Los Angeles have already done so

Pitt Meadows seeks partners in flood protection

$100 million in work needed to improve dike system

Maple Ridge senior facing homelessness at the end of the month

Jean Ticehurst can’t find affordable housing

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Injured fawn at B.C. vet will be euthanized Friday night unless claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer is currently being treated at West Kelowna’s Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read