All New British Columbia Light-Duty Vehicles Will Be Zero Emissions By 2040

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On May 29, 2019 the British Columbia government passed the  Zero-Emission Vehicles Act (ZEVA). This legislation requires all new light-duty vehicles like cars and trucks sold there to be zero emissions vehicles by 2040. The act was introduced in the legislature at the beginning of April of this year. A representative of the B.C. Energy, Mines and Petroleum division answered some questions about the development for CleanTechnica.

All new light duty trucks and cars sold in the province will be ZEV by 2040. Does that mean only electric vehicles or are some also fuel-cell vehicles?

In this legislation, a CEV is a motor vehicle that:

  •  never emits tailpipe emissions (i.e. battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (HCFVs)); and
  •  does not emit tailpipe emissions at least some of the time while being operated (i.e. plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and extended range electric vehicles (EREV)).

Does light duty mean vehicles used for personal transportation but not delivery vans and trucks?

Forthcoming regulations will determine the vehicle class that ZEV Act applies to. However, it is anticipated that it would apply only to on-road light-duty vehicles, with weight ratings of less than 3,856 kilograms. This would include cars, crossovers, SUVs and light pick-up trucks (e.g. Ford F150), but not heavier, medium- and heavy-duty trucks (e.g. Ford F250, buses, transport trucks and medium-duty delivery vans). Crossovers and SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Tahoe would be included.

The legislation has been written to be able to, by regulation, exclude certain vehicles like motorcycles or farm equipment, as well as, set targets for other vehicle classes.

How many ZEVs are on the roads in the province currently?

There are currently more than 20,000 electric vehicles on the road – with 350,000 expected on the roads by 2030. (battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric).

Are most of them electric?

The majority of CEVs on the road are plug-in vehicles. (We don’t have a breakdown between BEV/PHEV currently).  There are less than 15 FCEVs in B.C. with more expected in the near future.

Can you provide some details about how the CEVforBC rebate program works?

Information on how the program works can be found HERE. Other FAQ’s can be found HERE.

In your release it says,”British Columbians who purchase electric vehicles typically save about 75% on their fuel and maintenance costs, which currently add up to about $1,500 per year.” That’s a lot of money to save every year…is the public aware yet of how much they could save?

B.C. is a leader in clean energy vehicles (CEVs) with one of the largest public charging infrastructure networks in Canada (over 1,700 charging stations), the first public hydrogen fuelling station in Canada with plans to build out more, and the highest per capita adoption of CEVs in the country (4% of new light-duty vehicle sales in 2018, and over 6% of new light-duty vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2019).

Media attention on CEVs from both provincial and federal incentives to increased public demand and the number of CEVs on the road has been widespread. Government has also held two annual ‘CEV Day at the Legislature’ events to draw attention to the benefits of CEV ownership, which has garnered both public and media attention. Word-of-mouth among the public can also not be overlooked, and has helped to bring awareness to the money you can save by owning a CEV.

With all the new ZEVs on the roads and the greater number that is coming, are you also increasing the number of public charging stations?

Funding will support a range of initiatives, including supporting the creation of new public fast-charging and hydrogen fueling stations.

The CEVforBC program is also offering advisor and consultation services for the installation of electric vehicle charging in multi-unit residential buildings and workplaces.  Information on the advisor and consultation services available is located at  The provincial “Plug-In BC EV Advisor” can provide services to help find charging solutions for a site, including onsite presentations and education and general site consultations; these consultations are primarily an introductory overview and are not a substitute for an electrician.

Does the government promote EVs with outreach events?

Yes. As mentioned above, the provincial government has held two annual CEV Day events at the B.C. Legislature to highlight the vehicles and incentives available.  Government has also been active in promoting the available incentives, details of which are available at

Image Credit: InSapphoWeTrust, WikipediaCC BY-SA 2.0

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Jake Richardson

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