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New B.C. electric car law helps consumers access the vehicles—and the future—they want

VICTORIA—Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the B.C. government putting in place regulations as part of its Zero-Emission Vehicles Act that will require automakers to sell a growing percentage of electric vehicles in the province: 

“While electric vehicle sales in B.C. have been among the highest in Canada, there are clear indicators that consumer appetite for EVs is bigger still. In B.C., electric cars made up 9% of light-duty vehicle sales last year, while a third of British Columbians had said they expected their next car to be electric in a 2018 BC Hydro survey.

“In short, EV sales are growing rapidly, and their popularity is growing even faster. Waitlists are still too common for British Columbians who wish to get their hands on an electric car.

“That’s why the rules put in place today are vital. British Columbians are excited about electric cars and the chance to save thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance costs while also cutting pollution—a win-win for all of us. These laws will help supply keep pace with demand, while sending a clear signal to the market that B.C. is a place that wants their cars.

“It’s simple: If you want an electric vehicle in this province, you should be able to drive one home from the lot, same as any car.”


  • Driving an electric vehicle is six times less expensive than driving a gas-powered vehicle, according to BC Hydro
  • Another BC Hydro report found that one in three British Columbians expect their next car to be an EV.
  • In June and July of 2018, 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 had 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 Vehicles Act will require automakers to achieve 10% provincial ZEV sales by 2025, 30% by 2030, and 100% by 2040 (for light-duty vehicles).
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