•  Global Renewable News

British Columbia
Incentives power up the switch to electric vehicles on the job

January 30, 2017

The Province is providing $385,000 to offer incentives for zero-emission specialty-use vehicles, helping businesses and vehicle fleets lower fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and supporting the zero-emission vehicle sector in British Columbia.

Specialty-use vehicles are used on the job in factories and warehouses, on campuses and city streets, at parks and resorts, malls, airports and dockyards. Zero-emission specialty-use vehicles include electric or hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles, low-speed utility trucks, heavy duty transport trucks, passenger buses and airport and port service vehicles.

Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum announced the program on January 27th at Canadian Electric Vehicles in Errington, near Parksville on Vancouver Island, manufacturer of the electric Might-E utility truck.

Incentives ranging from $2,000 to $50,000 - depending on the type and retail price of the vehicle - will be provided to eligible applicants who purchase or lease an approved, new, zero-emission specialty-use vehicle.

Currently, zero-emission versions of common specialty-use vehicles can be priced from 40% to 600% higher than traditional gas or diesel versions. The incentives will help close the price gap and make zero-emission specialty-use vehicles a more attractive and economically viable option for fleet operators.

Switching from gas-powered to zero-emission specialty-use vehicles will reduce GHG emissions. For example, switching a gasoline pickup used on a university campus to a battery-electric utility truck can save approximately four tonnes of GHG emissions per year, while switching a diesel bus to an electric bus can save approximately 160 tonnes of GHG emissions per year.

The incentives will also provide a boost to British Columbia-based companies and workers who are designing, manufacturing and selling zero-emission specialty-use vehicles like Canadian Electric Vehicles, and GreenPower Motor Company of Vancouver.

Funding for the Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive Program comes from the Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) Program. The Province introduced the CEV Program in 2011 and has since committed more than $31 million to encourage British Columbians to choose clean, green vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive Program supports actions under the Climate Leadership Plan to expand the CEV Program, encourage electrification, reduce harmful emissions and enable the development of a new low-carbon economy.

The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.'s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia's diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.


Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines -

"Offering incentives for specialty-use vehicles powered by British Columbia's clean, renewable and affordable electricity will help businesses and fleets reduce their fuel and maintenance costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping us meet our provincial emissions reductions targets."

Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum -

"Canadian Electric Vehicles is a local business with international appeal, successfully making and selling electric specialty-use vehicles all over the world. The Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive Program will not only help stimulate their sales, but also increase economic development and job creation in B.C.'s clean energy vehicle sector."

Carol Hamilton, mayor of the City of Colwood -

"Colwood is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to protect our spectacular oceanfront environment. Our zero-emission electric truck is helping us achieve that goal while reducing fuel and maintenance costs, and giving us a fume-free, quiet vehicle for working on trails and roadsides."

Randy Holmquist, president of Canadian Electric Vehicles -

"Canadian Electric Vehicles is pleased to be included in this latest B.C. government initiative to encourage the adoption of new, clean energy vehicles. Canadian Electric Vehicles has been manufacturing electric utility vehicles on Vancouver Island for over 15 years and this program will support the growth of our company and aid in our customers' goal of greening their fleet."

John Wilson, CEO and president of The Wilson's Group of Companies -

"As one of British Columbia's largest ground transportation companies, The Wilson's Group has been investigating solutions to reduce fleet emissions. The Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive Program introduced today supports our commitment to a greener and more sustainable environment and is a very welcome initiative. We believe that battery-electric power will be the most effective way of providing meaningful and timely change to the way in which we operate".

Fraser Atkinson, chairman of GreenPower Motor Company -

"We are delighted that the Province of British Columbia is showing leadership in providing incentives for the acquisition of our zero emission all-electric buses. These types of programs will help operators electrify their fleets as well as meeting community goals of eliminating emissions and reducing noise pollution."

Ted Dowling, regional vice-president of BYD Heavy Industries -

"As the largest electrified vehicle manufacture in both consumer electric and commercial/industrial vehicles BYD sees the positive impact programs like these bring. Encouraging the use of electric vehicles is good for the environment. It also reduces costs to businesses and governments as well as supporting local communities and jobs. This program will help further the integration of electric vehicles in B.C., harness and encourage local companies as well as global players to invest in B.C."

Quick Facts:

  • The Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive Program is focused on supporting businesses and fleets in adopting specialty-use clean energy vehicles. Individuals may not apply for this program, only applications in the name of a business, non-profit, or public entity will be accepted.
  • Examples of incentive amounts:
    • A battery-electric, low-speed Might-E utility truck manufactured by Canadian Electric Vehicles with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $31,170 would be eligible for an incentive of $5,000.
    • A battery-electric, delivery or cube truck manufactured by BYD Auto with an MSRP of $214,500 would be eligible for an incentive of $20,000.
    • A battery-electric shuttle bus manufactured by GreenPower Motor Company with a MSRP of $384,500 would be eligible for an incentive of $50,000.
  • B.C. fleets can participate in the Fleet Champions Program to access funds to assist with charging infrastructure.
  • Currently the CEV sector in B.C. consists of approximately 198 companies involved in all aspects of the CEV supply chain resulting in a total direct employment of approximately 3,850 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • The CEV sector provides approximately $702 million in total direct economic activity in B.C.

Learn More:

Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive Program: https://www2.qa.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/electricity-alternative-energy/transportation-energies/clean-transportation-policies-programs/clean-energy-vehicle-program/cev-specialty-use-vehicle-incentive

B.C. Clean Energy Vehicle Program: www.gov.bc.ca/cleanenergyvehicleprogram

B.C. Fleet Champions Program: http://pluginbc.ca/

#BCTECH Strategy: www.bctechstrategy.ca

For more information :

British Columbia Government


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