Dear Premier Clark:
Regarding: Accelerating the electrification of the transportation sector.
This open letter communication is from electric vehicle (EV) organizations and supporters representing hundreds of experienced EV owners and outlines the measures that need to be taken by the BC government to increase the adoption rate of EVs in the Province.
Following the signing of the Paris Agreement it is clear that we all have to do our part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We congratulate British Columbia for joining the International Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance which is a major step in the process to reduce CO2 emissions.
The common belief that the effects of climate change could be mitigated before they seriously impacted our children and our grandchildren is no longer valid. It is now evident that climate change has accelerated at such a pace that it is already affecting our current generation.
Please help make British Columbia a leader in the reduction of CO2 emissions.
There are immediate opportunities to reduce CO2 levels originating from the transportation sector which accounts for 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia. Unlike fossil-fueled vehicles, electric vehicles emit no CO2, no nitrous oxides, and no carbon particulates at the point of consumption. British Columbia is fortunate to have over 93% of its electricity sourced from existing hydroelectric facilities with almost no CO2 emissions.
Progressive auto manufacturers continue to increase electric vehicle offerings, but the mainstream adoption of EVs in British Columbia is being hampered by insufficient transition incentives, the lack of availability of EV models that are sold elsewhere, serious gaps in interurban and residential charging infrastructure, and a lack of education and awareness.
Although electric vehicles are expected to reach cost parity with fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025, we can adopt policies from countries like Norway and California to attain the required earlier increase in adoption rates. The mainstream adoption of electric vehicles can succeed through synergistic actions by both the public and private sector.
Time is of the essence. Listed below are three key areas where public sector action would accelerate the EV adoption rate in British Columbia through: vehicle purchase incentives, EV infrastructure, and awareness and education. These policy proposals reinforce each other, and the absence of any component would significantly reduce the effectiveness of the others.
Vehicle Availability and Purchase Incentives
1. Implement a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate that will place British Columbia on a path to reach the 2050 goal of 100% of new vehicle sales being zero-emission.
a. Sales targets for zero-emission light duty passenger vehicles.
b. The sales targets are subject to the public sector providing sales incentives, charging infrastructure and education initiatives as outlined in sections 2 through 14.
2. Continue to provide electric vehicle (EV) purchase incentives proportional to the battery size or all-electric range of the vehicle until EVs reach cost-parity with fossil-fueled vehicles.
3. Extend EV purchase incentives to imported used EVs proportional to the battery size or all-electric range of the vehicle.
4. Exempt vehicles that are 100% electric from the vehicle luxury tax until 2025.
5. Provide a regulation that requires powered outlets for EV charging for parking stalls serving residential occupancies.
6. Provide the authority for municipalities to mandate EV charging facilities for non-residential properties using local bylaws.
7. Implement legislation that prohibits landlords and strata councils from denying reasonable requests from residents for EV charging capability in residential buildings and that provides for equitable cost-sharing between residents that use the charging capability over time.
8. Provide financial incentives for retrofitting EV charging infrastructure in all residential buildings. Scale the incentives to reduce impacts during peak demand periods, with higher incentives going to installations that lower impacts on grid peak loads.
9. Increase the number of high speed fast chargers to at least 150 by 2020 to enable EV travel on all highways in BC.
10. Provide an exemption to allow third parties to charge for electricity, and recover administrative and capital cost overheads for the charging of electric vehicles at public charging stations while maintaining the common carrier principle supporting remote regions.
11. Install EV infrastructure available 24/7 at provincial buildings, parking facilities and parks where feasible to facilitate charging by employees, visitors and the public.
Awareness and Education
12. Accelerate EV awareness and education through:
- participation in public events showcasing EV technology for passenger cars, light and heavy duty trucks and buses, and electric vehicles approved by Transport-Canada for sale in Canada.
- media outreach promoting EVs and infrastructure technology, and
- a series of workshops for landlords and strata umbrella organizations on the subject of viable alternatives in providing EV charging capability for tenants and strata owners.
13. Implement “green” license plates to be issued for plug-in EVs to:
a. permit green license plate holders to access high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
b. provide for the identification of EVs in order that their operators may access other privileges in return for their early contributions to improving the environment. Green license plates could provide identification for access to preferred parking or access to the early boarding (motorcycle) lane at major ferry terminals or other privileges on public or private property.
c. provide the ability for personalized plate holders to retain their plate “numbers” on green license plates.
14. Implement “default to green” policies for purchases and replacements in the provincial light duty vehicle fleet.
Through these actions, and related actions by the federal and municipal governments, British Columbia will have an opportunity to meet its CO2 reduction targets.