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BC leads in zero-emission vehicle uptake across North America

An electric vehicle parked at a charging station.

British Columbia is leading the way in North America when it comes to adopting cleaner vehicles.

According to the province’s 2021 Zero-Emission Vehicle Update, BC is embracing zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) faster than any other region in North America, with ZEVs representing 13% of all new light-duty vehicle sales in British Columbia.

As of December 30, 2021, BC had 79,587 light-duty ZEVs registered, over 3,000 public charging stations and four hydrogen fuelling stations.

These values awarded the province with the highest uptake rates of ZEVs in North America.

“With the highest reported uptake rate of ZEVs in North America, BC is quickly becoming a leader in the ZEV industry,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “The annual ZEV update shows that people and businesses in BC are eager to make the switch to cleaner energy, and we’re helping people make this transition through our CleanBC Go Electric suite of programs.”

In 2019, BC also became the first jurisdiction in the world to legislate a 100% ZEV sales requirement, which required automakers to meet ZEV sales targets reaching 10% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

Promisingly, British Columbia is well on its way to achieving its 2030 ZEV sales targets as there were 24,263 new ZEVs registered in 2021 alone.

“People are increasingly choosing electric vehicles as the clean and lower-cost option, and we have achieved our 2025 target for ZEVs five years ahead of schedule,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “The switch to electric vehicles for personal and commercial use means less carbon and air pollution, a cleaner environment and lower fuel and maintenance costs for the growing number of ZEV users.”

In BC, ZEV owners see immediate savings on fuel costs – approximately $1,800 to $2,500 per year for the average driver – as well as lower ongoing maintenance costs, in addition to a variety of rebates from programs, such as the Go Electric EV Charger Rebate program.

The Go Electric EV Charger Rebate program offers up to $97,000 in rebates per apartment or condo for the purchase and installation of Level 2 charging stations in single-family homes, apartments, condominiums and workplaces.

As of April 2022, BC has more than 50% of the public fast-charging sites required to meet the province’s 2040 demand already built or underway.

The annual ZEV update tracks BC’s progress towards its zero-emission vehicle targets and is a requirement under the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, implemented in 2019.

Published on April 8, 2022.