“Zero-emission vehicles are clean, quiet and reliable and help drivers reduce fuel and maintenance costs and tailpipe emissions, and are a growing economic sector in the province,” Bennett said in the release. “Additional funding of $40 million for the Clean Energy Vehicle Program will help make zero-emission vehicles more affordable for British Columbians and build out charging infrastructure at residences, businesses and along our roads and highways to make sure there are places to charge them up.”
The Quebec Approach
The approach of B.C. to incentivize customers purchasing clean transport is in contrast to a recent announcement in Quebec, where car manufacturers will bear the load of making green vehicles more readily available.
Quebec’s new electric vehicle laws will put a strain on automakers, who will admittedly struggle to comply with the regulations. That’s the view of David Adams, president of the Global Automakers of Canada, who was speaking at the Montreal Auto Show in January.
Under the new law, Quebec requires car manufacturers to sell a minimum number of electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Beginning in 2018, 3.5 per cent of all auto sales in the province must come from these alternative fuel solutions. Furthermore, by 2025 the threshold will increase to 15.5 per cent of all vehicles.
Quebec is the only province to pass such stringent regulations, which Adams describes as “very aggressive”.
“It’s going to be a real challenge to see how we’re going to find a path to get there.”
Contrasting Impacts and the Middle Ground
If we analyse both approaches, it is easy to say British Columbia is arguably being the most realistic. Industry expert, Shop Insurance Canada, says that customers will be intrigued by incentives offered by the province for buying alternate fuel vehicles. In Quebec, automakers will have a tough time to meet the demands the government has set.
That said, it could be argued that B.C.’s approach is not aggressive enough. It is a start to give customers incentives, but the $40 million investment is unlikely to significantly increase alternate fuel vehicle adoption in the province.
“There are positives and negatives from the approaches in Quebec and B.C., but it is probably a middle ground that will ultimately find most success. Automakers certainly need to be stimulated into making alternate fuel vehicles more readily available. Regulations are obviously a way to achieve this.
Equally, giving customers incentives to adopt cleaner cars is also important. We expect these incentives to grow in time and for retailers and automakers to engage with consumers more in a bid to entice them to cleaner fuels.”
About Shop Insurance Canada
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