Drivers could save thousands on an electric car
By Mercedes Deutscher, Staff Writer
Beginning April 1, the BC Government will continue its initiative program for drivers buying electric and hybrid vehicles, and will be offering up to $6,000 to those who buy or lease clean energy vehicles.
As an encouragement for buying clean energy vehicles, which are often more expensive than fuel-burning vehicles, the government is reducing the price. After filling out an application for the program, buyers can expect to see rebates ranging from $2,500, for electric vehicles with a smaller battery capacity, $5,000 for vehicles with a larger battery capacity, and $6,000 for vehicles that are run by a hydrogen fuel cell.
In addition to the rebates, drivers who trade in a vehicle from the year 2000 or older may receive additional discounts on an electric vehicle, saving up to $8,250.
The rebate is the result of a renewal of the Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) Program, which was introduced in late 2011. The CEV program was an effort to encourage drivers to buy clean energy vehicles, and was put into effect by the government to help meet a goal of reducing greenhouse gasses by 33 per cent in 2020, and by 80 per cent in 2050. The previous program also offered incentives for purchasing electric vehicle charging stations.
The original CEV program expired in 2014, after the program had reached budget limits.
This revival of the CEV program has been extended to March 31, 2018, or until the program’s budget of $10.6-million runs out.
The Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, explained the cost of the program’s budget to the Vancouver Sun. About $7.5-million will go towards giving rebates to those who purchase clean energy vehicles. In addition, $1.6-million will be going towards installing more car charging stations at gas stations throughout BC. The remainder of the program budget will be allocated to research, public communications, and commercial-fleet clean fuel purchases.
“British Columbians who purchase electric vehicles typically save about 75 per cent on their fuel costs. That adds up to $1,600 per year,” Bennett said in an interview with CBC.
Meanwhile, BC Environment Minister Mary Polak stated in a press release, “With transportation representing 37 per cent of total provincial greenhouse gas emissions, clean energy vehicles are essential to reducing emissions and maintaining healthy air quality.”
Along with the CEV program, a non-profit society by the name of Scrap-It is offering rebates up to $3,250 to drivers who are trading in vehicles made in 2000 or earlier.