Traffic on the road may look distinctly different in the decades to come.

Last week, the provincial government announced that it would be introducing a new legislation that calls for 100% of new car and truck sales to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2040.

The province in partnership with the BC Green caucus will introduce this new legislation in spring 2019, which will begin the transition of all road vehicles to ZEVs.

The proposed timeline sets targets of 10% ZEV sales by 2025, 30% by 2030, and then the significant jump to 100% by 2040.

The BC government says that it will take steps to make these green vehicles more affordable in the coming years.

“If we want British Columbians to be part of the solution for reducing air pollution, we need to make clean energy vehicles more affordable, available and convenient,” said Premier Horgan in a news release.

The Premier outlined a three-point plan in the news release to kick-start the new 100% ZEVs legislation.

  • The first step the NDP government has planned is to expand the province’s electric vehicle direct-current fast-charger (DCFC) network to 151 sites. 71 of these locations are already completed or underway.
  • The second step is an increase to the provincial incentive program by $20 million this year to encourage more British Columbians to buy clean energy cars. The fund will be administered by the New Car Dealers Association of BC and will bring the incentive program up to $57 million in total.
  • Lastly, the third step is to review the incentive program with an eye to expanding it over time. The hope is that ZEVs will become a more affordable option for middle- and lower-income British Columbians.

“There’s nothing more important than taking care of the place we call home,” said Horgan.

“As a province, we need to work together to put B.C. on a path that powers our future with clean, renewable energy and reduces air pollution.”

According to the news release, B.C. has one of the largest vehicle charging networks in Canada. Roughly 12,000 ZEVs are registered, and the province has the highest adoption rate of electric vehicles in the country.