The Honourable Christy Clark
Premier of British Columbia
By email: email@example.com
Dear Premier Clark:
As you know, reducing carbon dioxide emissions to the Earth’s atmosphere from human activities is an obligation that we cannot fail to meet. Toward that end, through its carbon tax, carbon neutral government and other programs, British Columbia has taken action that has attracted international applause. We salute that progress and acknowledge your continuing support for such initiatives.
But one highly successful undertaking—the Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) Program––has now reached its budget limit and is formally scheduled to end this spring. This will undeniably diminish the positive momentum that electrification of personal vehicle transportation has established in British Columbia, ironically at a time when it is accelerating elsewhere. In Norway, for example, the top selling car in January of this year was the Nissan Leaf. As of today, over 20,000 all-electric (EV) cars have been registered in Norway; they are ‘refueled’ (with zero emissions) at over 4,000 EV recharge points and nearly 150 fast charging stations. This remarkable evolution in a country that shares many of BC’s characteristics––a significant winter, fjords,
and an abundance of hydropower––resulted directly from intensive government support for charging infrastructure and incentive programs for consumers that exempted them from sales taxes on EVs.
Your government has in the past done much the same: your support for vehicle-purchase incentives and fast-charging stations for example, was exceptionally well received, as were the subvention programs for home-charging and community-charging infrastructure. Your government’s efforts created momentum and raised the profile of an emissions solution. We believe that such success should be rewarded, not penalized, and we are therefore writing today to request that the CEV and associated programs be extended and strengthened, not terminated.
The Victoria Leaf Club (VLC) is an association of over 200 members (including some from the U.S.) who acknowledge that the future is electric. Our members respectfully request that your government continue the CEV and charging infrastructure programs for at least one more year, and that it be funded in 2014-2015 at the level of $8 million. We further request that you consider raising the sales incentive for an all-electric vehicle to $8,000, which would put BC on a par with other provincial and state jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S. We note that since taxes are still paid on EV purchases, the net cost to the Treasury is significantly less that the quantum of the subvention.
The VLC has met with BC electric car dealers in recent weeks and they lament the loss of the sales incentive program. EV purchases have been cancelled as a result, at time when the world’s best climate scientists are increasingly crying out for more strident action to reduce emissions.
Your government deserves much credit for the positive action you have taken on the climate file in the last several years. We greatly respect that. But at the same time, we fear loss of momentum. Please do not let that happen.