Energy Minister Bill Bennett looks at the power system of a plug-in electric vehicle on display at the Vancouver International Auto Show.

B.C. recharges rebate for electric vehicles

Up to $5,000 for plug-in hybrid or battery-only car under program that starts April 1

The B.C. government has revived its emission-free vehicle subsidy program, offering up to $5,000 to buyers of battery-powered and plug-in hybrid cars.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett announced the program at the Vancouver Convention Centre as it set up for the annual auto show this week. B.C. will spend $10.6 million, most of it for vehicle purchase rebates and the rest to finance new car charging stations.

The program takes effect April 1 and is funded to continue until March 2018. Those scrapping a 2000-or-older vehicle can receive an additional $3,250 toward a new battery electric or eligible plug-in hybrid under the BC Scrap-It program.

Even with the rebate, an electric car is more expensive to buy than a comparable gasoline-powered vehicle, but the fuel savings average about $1,600 a year compared to gasoline.

B.C.’s last electric vehicle rebate program ran from 2011 to 2014, subsidizing the purchase of 950 electric vehicles and more than 1,000 charging stations.

[Charging locations are available here. For eligible vehicles, click here.]

Bennett said electric vehicles and charging stations are not just a big-city option, and some are used in his home town of Cranbrook and other towns across the province, despite their shorter range.

“Anybody with a 200-amp service can put a 30-amp breaker on their panel, put a charging station in their driveway or in their garage and charge their vehicle at home,” he said.

That option won’t qualify for any provincial subsidy, other than for the vehicle.

The program also includes rebates of up to $6,000 for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which are still not sold in B.C.

Hydrogen vehicles were heavily promoted leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics, with a fleet of 20 transit buses provided for Whistler. They were parked late last year, after bringing in hydrogen fuel from Quebec to keep them running. If they can’t be sold they will be converted to diesel.

Hydrogen fuel cell cars are available in California, although at least one manufacturer expects to have them available in B.C. within two years, Bennett said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Gabrielle Clarke is an art therapist in Golden who works in mixed media art. Clarke’s art will be on display downtown at the Go-Lab. (Gabrielle Clarke photo)
Mixed media arts show comes to Go-Lab

Clarke’s art will be on display until Nov. 6

The view from Donald Bridge, looking east on Highway 1, about 28 km north of Golden at 11:50 a.m. Oct. 18. (DriveBC)
UPDATE: Expect delays on highway east of Revelstoke

A vehicle incident occurred near the Quartz Creek bridge

Advance voting is already underway in the 42nd general election in British Columbia. Election day is Oct. 24.(Black Press files photo)
QUIZ: Are you ready for the B.C. election?

Take this short test and see how much you know about elections and voting

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. The fire displaced shelter residents who have been set up with services at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Electrical fire at Turning Points Collaborative Society’s emergency response centre on 37th Street

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

Osoyoos Fire Department responded to reports of a vehicle engulfed in flames Sunday (Oct. 18) evening at a Lambert Court residence. (Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near home

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels more Okanagan concerts

The Contenders and Colin James postponed until 2021

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Most Read