Public electric car charging station at Edgmont on the Sunshine Coast.

B.C. joins clean vehicle club in Paris

Zero-emission vehicles group wants to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions 40 per cent by 2050.

With 2,000 electric vehicles and charging stations in place and a program to keep subsidizing their purchase and use, B.C. has joined an elite club of countries and U.S. states.

Capping her second week at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris, Environment Minister Mary Polak announced Thursday that B.C. has joined the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance.

The alliance hopes to reduce vehicle emissions 40 per cent by 2050, promoting use of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Its members include Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the U.K., California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Quebec.

In 2011, B.C. replaced its earlier $2,000 subsidy for hybrid cars with a clean energy vehicle program that pays between $2,500 and $5,000 in point-of-sale rebates for new battery electric, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell or natural gas vehicles.

It also offered a $500 subsidy for installing a dedicated vehicle charging station at home through LiveSmart BC, a program that ended in 2014 and was replaced.

Natural gas power has mainly been limited to short-haul truck fleets based around a central fuelling station. B.C. ran pilot projects with hydrogen fuel-cell transit buses in Victoria and Whistler, but they were wound up after the 2010 Olympics.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett acknowledged that electric vehicles are mainly confined to urban areas in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island.

Asked how the program appears from rural areas, where taxpayers with muddy pickups subsidize sleek electric cars driven by wealthy West Coasters, Bennett said the program is funded out of natural gas royalties, not general taxation.

He noted that B.C. is better suited to electric vehicles than many places that burn goal or natural gas to generate electricity, and is setting an example for other jurisdictions.

 

Just Posted

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Power restored to 120,000 customers after northern B.C. transmission failure

Lightning is suspected to be the cause of the outage, says BC Hydro

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read