A direct-current fast charging station for electric vehicles at Squamish. (Black Press files)

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

Less than half of B.C.’s car dealerships have electric cars available for purchase, according to a report released Wednesday from Clean Energy Canada.

The authors posed as potential buyers at 292 car dealerships across the province and found starkly different responses as they called around B.C.

In the Lower Mainland, 54 per cent of car dealership had electric cars, although buyers had to wait between a few months and a whole year in order to get their hands on one.

The number went down on Vancouver Island and along the Sunshine Coast, with 43 per cent of dealerships having electric cars.

In Interior B.C., just 27 per cent of car dealerships had electric cars.

But if you’re trying to buy an electric car, don’t head north: just seven per cent of car lots had one.

READ MORE: B.C.’s subsidized electric vehicle sales gaining speed

READ MORE: B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

The lack of electric vehicles up north may be tied to a dearth of knowledge about the rebates available to buyers of electric cars or the charges needed to keep them running.

The point-of-sale incentive program, administered by the New Car Dealers, provides up to $5,000 for purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, or up to $6,000 for the emerging technology of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

In September, the province added $10 million to an existing $27 million fund for the rebate program, saying the cash it had set aside earlier was about to run out.

Up north, none of the car dealerships were aware of the province’s rebate program for either the cars or chargers.

In the Lower Mainland, with their much higher rates of electric cars, 75 per cent of car dealerships knew about the electric car rebate and 34 per cent knew about the charger rebate.

Across the board, researchers found that most salespeople were excited about selling electric cars.

“If we had more Bolts, way more would be sold,” one salesperson said.

“We just need the vehicles. They’re getting all eaten up in California.”

A survey conducted by the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. last month found that two out of five drivers are “definitely” or “probably” considering an electric vehicle.

Despite that, researchers spoke to customers frustrated with a lack of electric cars in the province.

Randy Rinaldo, of Burnaby, wanted to buy an electric Fiat 500 but had to go south of the border to find one.

“I was ready, willing and [an] able customer with money in hand to buy this car and there was no one to supply it for me,” Rinaldo said.

“We should just be able to walk into a dealership and buy these cars.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Easter egg hunts and fun for families

More events scheduled for Sunday in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Bobcats, bears, and otters, oh my!

Critter Care Wildlife Society’s 20th anniversary gala set for next Saturday in Langley

Victoria ‘reviewing options’ for removing convicted councillors

Pitt Meadows lobbied for change after David Murray’s sex assault conviction

Cubetto teaches kids the building blocks of coding

Fraser Valley Regional Library’s wooden robot coming to Maple Ridge in May

Toothpick speech a Toastmasters win for Pitt man

Stefano Cossalter won the district-level contest.

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

VIDEO: Fan support almost deafening as Giants take Game 2 in finals

Vancouver G-Men cap comeback with thrilling third period to beat Spokane 4-2 on home ice in Langley

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read