Published on January 30th, 2016 | by James Ayre


EV Rebate Fund In British Columbia Is Running Dry

January 30th, 2016 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

The Canadian province of British Columbia (the left coast of the country, for those with a terrible sense of geography) has for the last few years offered buyers of electric vehicles a rebate in order to incentivize the adoption of the technology — and thereby potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and urban air pollution.

After having run dry a few years back, and then been refilled following the creation of a new budget, it looks like it’s about to run out again. Only ~CAD$350,000 is available as of the time of me writing this. Not much really, when considering the rebate sums involved.

British Columbia ev

To date, the Clean Energy Vehicles for British Columbia incentive program has dispersed CAD$4,144,834 in funds, with a further CAD$2,143,337 of funds being reserved. So, an overall success, I’d say — though, one that’ll need to continue if the rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the province is going to continue rising.

As noted during a recent conversation on the Tesla Motors Club forum, though, there are other means of supporting EV adoption that are perhaps better options. (Or good complementary options.)

The commentator “beeeerock” stated: “If the government simply decided to forego the incremental luxury tax on EV’s that would be a big help. I for one found it rather insulting that my purchase was taxed the same way as if I’d bought a Ferrari or Aston Martin. Charging tax on our good intentions that actually further the government’s lip service on addressing climate change isn’t reasonable. For that matter, they could scrap the rebate program and simply not charge PST on EV’s… period. Then your savings would be proportional to your expenditure.”

For more on the topic of how to incentivize EVs, see: “EV Incentives EV Enthusiasts Think Are Most Enticing.”

Despite being continued following the depletion of funds in the past, it’s a bit of an open question whether the province will do so again considering the current (and growing) economic problems in Canada — as noted by the commentator “Soolim.”

(Tip of the hat here to “AI604” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for this news.)

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • rockyredneck

    Sooner or later EVs will have to stand on their own merits. Taxing even non drivers to support EV buyers is inherently unfair.

    • Bob_Wallace

      We’ll reach that point in the next few years.

      Petroleum powered cars will never be required to pay their external costs. The people who don’t own a car will keep on paying a share of those costs until ICEVs are extinct.

      Then there are the costs of our oil wars….

  • Otis11

    Hmm… what about removing the pure electric range from the sales tax? (A PHEV with 40 miles range would get 40% off sales tax. Anything with 100+ mile range would have no sales tax…)

    Rewards higher EV ranges proportionally.

  • sjc_1

    You replenish the fund with a carbon tax.

    • MorinMoss

      British Columbia has had a carbon tax since 2008

      • sjc_1

        Apparently not enough of it goes to the fund.

  • Martin

    One way way to describe were BC is would be:
    Between Alaska and Washington State.
    I live in BC.

  • Martin

    The rebate is for not only BEV’s but also for hybrids, it is lower by 1/2, but there is is a higher rebate for fuel cell cars as well.
    BEV – $ 5000.00
    Hybrid- $ 2.500.00
    FCEV- $ 6.000.00
    But the carbon tax brings in $ 1.2 Billion (CAD) per year and only a few million, in the order of 20-30 million per year go to carbon reduction programs, the rest goes to reduce taxes, more than 50 % to bussines.

  • JamesWimberley

    ” ..the left coast of the country, for those with a terrible sense of geography ..” That’s a a very Kansas-centric way to look at it. If you stand in Juneau or Dawson looking south, it’s on the right.

    • MorinMoss

      Canada is the Great White North so if you’re looking south, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Freddy D

    I’d suspect another casualty of lack of product offerings. EVs with small range and cars that aren’t CUVs or trucks, or cars with heaters that limit their range are probably a very limited proposition in BC. Get to 200 mile range, broaden the product lineup, and check back in.

    • Zorba

      A “casualty of lack of product offerings”? The problem here is that the programme has used up all its allocated funds, not that nobody was interested in buying one of the “product offerings” and getting a rebate.

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