VANCOUVER — With a provincial election looming, the B.C. government has topped up the fund that provides incentives for those who buy zero-emission vehicles. Just one day earlier, Ontario’s government-subsidized program made a similar move.
Both programs announced upgrades on the heels of the privately funded BC SCRAP-IT program, which doubled incentives for drivers to scrap their older vehicles in favour of buying new electric vehicles.
Ontario Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced Feb. 3 the Liberal government would spend $40million over three years to encourage buyers to switch to EVs under its Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) Program.
That same week, BC SCRAP-IT, a program to take older vehicles off the road — funded by oil company contributions and administered via new car dealerships — doubled the incentive for new EVs to $6,000. The incentive to buy a used EV remains at $3,000.
Ontario effectively increased incentives to a maximum $14,000 for eligible EV and plug-in hybrid EVs as of Jan. 1 by lifting the cap based on 30 per cent of the vehicle’s retail price.
The fresh funding for the B.C. program does not include increases in buyer incentives, which remain at $5,000 for a battery EV and $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel-cell model.
When combined with the SCRAP-IT incentive, a new-EV buyer could receive up to $11,000 ($12,000 for an FCEV). The cash injection was timely because less than $1.4 million remained available from the existing pot of money.
Some of the $40 million will also fund other programs: Expanding residential and workplace charging and hydrogen-fueling infrastructure, incentives for fleet vehicles such as buses and trucks, and money for purchasers of electric bicycles and electric scooters.