Media releases

Easier access to electric cars will save B.C. drivers money and cut pollution

VANCOUVER / VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director, and Dan Woynillowicz, policy director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statements in response to the B.C. government’s Zero Emission Vehicles announcement, which—among other initiatives—will require automakers to sell a growing percentage of electric vehicles in the province:

“British Columbians are excited about electric cars and the chance to cut both fuel costs and pollution. It’s a win-win for commuters, and it’s why many are going on waitlists to get the electric cars they want. Today’s announcement will make it easier for people to go electric. If you want an electric car, you should be able to drive one home from the lot, same as any car—that’s what this policy is about.”

—Merran Smith, Executive Director

“A third of British Columbians expect their next car to be electric—even more are interested. It’s no mystery why. Not only do electric cars help cut pollution and clean up the air we breathe, in B.C. going electric cuts your fuel bill by three-quarters.

“B.C. will soon have the complete package of infrastructure and policies needed to level the playing field and help British Columbians get the cars they want—cleaner, better, and ultimately more affordable cars.”

—Dan Woynillowicz, Policy Director

Dan Woynillowicz (@DanWoy) is available for interviews in Victoria and Merran Smith (@merransmith) is available for interviews in Vancouver.

Last month, Clean Energy Canada released a study on B.C.’s electric car supply problem, available here.


  • One in three British Columbians expect their next car to be an EV, according to BC Hydro.
  • That same report found that fuel costs for electric car owners in B.C. equalled just one-quarter of what drivers spend on gasoline.
  • In June and July, Clean Energy Canada called all 322 dealerships in B.C. that qualify for the province’s EV rebate program and found that:
    • only 40% of them have electric cars on their lots available to purchase;
    • most said the wait time to get an electric car would be three months to a year—with some citing wait times of up to 18 months; and
    • fewer than one in five of them could refer us to an alternative dealership with available EVs.
  • The B.C. government’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standard will require car companies to achieve 10% ZEV sales by 2025, 30% by 2030, and 100% by 2040.
  • EVs represented 6.2% of new car sales in California (which has a ZEV standard) in the first half of 2018 compared to just 3.5% in B.C.
  • 16 countries—including China, France, Japan, and the U.K.—have announced plans to phase out fossil-fuel-powered cars and increase the availability of EVs.
  • China recently announce its version of a zero emissions vehicle standard, coming in 2019.


Report | Batteries Not Included: Solutions Series

Videos | What EV buyers in B.C. said

Submission | Multi-stakeholder support for introducing a Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate in British Columbia

UBCM Resolution | B131 Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate, Endorsed at the 2018 UBCM Annual Convention.


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