New electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are offered for test drives at the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

New electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are offered for test drives at the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. electric vehicle sales charge ahead in pandemic 2020

Latest sales show North America’s highest adoption rate

Fuel savings and government rebates have continued to drive sales of electric vehicles in B.C. through 2020, with more than 54,000 zero-emission vehicles registered in the province by the end of the year.

The province offers point-of-sale rebates of $3,000 for buying or leasing new fully electric vehicles and $1,500 for hybrid electric vehicles, and this year added $31 million for incentives for commercial zero-emission vehicles as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan.

“In 2020, B.C. had the highest uptake of zero-emission vehicles in North America,” Energy Minister Bruce Ralston said as the province’s annual update was released April 6. Zero-emission vehicles averaged 9.4 per cent of total new vehicle sales over the year.

The province now has more than 2,500 public charging stations, which Environment Minister George Heyman said is a key to zero-emission adoption, along with an average saving of $1,800 a year in fuel costs.

“People in communities across British Columbia are increasingly choosing electric vehicles to reduce air pollution, and for a better driving experience and lower operating costs,” Heyman said.

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