B.C. Claims Highest EV Uptake Rates in North America

The number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads of British Columbia, Canada, has surged 1,600% in the past six years, the provincial government said on Wednesday. B.C. has gone from 5,000 light-duty EV registrations in 2016 to more than 85,000 today.

Much of the credit goes to the province’s CleanBC Go Electric programs and rebates, which the government said have subsidized the purchase of more than 53,000 EVs over the past five years. In 2021 alone, a whopping 18,533 EV rebates were issued under the CleanBC Go Electric Passenger Vehicle Rebate program.

According to a recent report, EV registrations in Canada were up 52% year-over-year during the first quarter of this year.

The report also indicated that British Columbia leads automotive electrification in Canada, with the highest EV uptake of any province. 17% of all light-duty passenger vehicles sold in the province between January and March were EVs.

The B.C. government, however, said the province actually boasts the highest EV uptake rates in North America. “With the highest reported uptake rates of EVs in North America, B.C. is a leader in the movement to end our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

“This early CleanBC success story shows how good policy, effective partnerships and public investment can lead to escalating change and rapid, positive results,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

In Budget 2022, B.C. introduced a provincial sales tax exemption for used EVs, effective until 2027, making the purchase of an EV more affordable and providing more options to people.

B.C. said it “supports EV adoption from purchase through repair.” The provincial government is making investments in expanding EV charging infrastructure across B.C., and also aims to make it easier for owners to get their EVs serviced or repaired by giving automotive technicians opportunities to upgrade their skills to work on EVs.

B.C.’s public charging network has grown from 781 stations in 2016 to 3,100 by the end of 2021. B.C.

Through the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, the B.C. government has also required that zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) account for 26% of all light-duty vehicle sales by 2026, 90% by 2030, and 100% by 2035, five years ahead of the original target. B.C. was the first place in the world to pass a 100% ZEV law.