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

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

Gord John stands during question period in Ottawa in Sept. 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY CHRISTIAN DIOTTE, HOUSE OF COMMONS PHOTO SERVICES)
2020: A Year in Review with Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns

NDP MP wants to ‘build back better’ in 2021

Colin Springford expressed his thanks following a birthday truck parade that was held for him on his 75th birthday on April 10, 2020. (Submitted photo)
Longtime Nanoose Bay farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

Parksville Fire Department crews attended the scene of a house fire on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at the end of Foster Place in Parksville. No injuries were reported. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Fire crews called to battle house fire in Parksville

No injuries reported, kitty rescued

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hikers among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head prison inmates in receive first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested after stolen water taxi raced up Victoria’s Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000 after leading police on marine chase

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Most Read