Premier John Horgan has outlined a three-point plan to accelerate ZEV sales. The initiative from the BC government also contributes to the province’s climate change plan.

The government of British Columbia announced on Tuesday (November 20) that the province would mandate the sale of every light duty car and truck to be a zero-emission vehicle (ZEVs) by 2040.

The province has said that it will announce a legislation in  spring 2019 to phase in targets for the sale of ZEVs. The government said it  will set targets for the sale of ZEVs of 10 percent by 2025; 30 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2040.

Premier John Horgan outlined a three-point plan to accelerate the ZEV sales, which includes the expansion of the province’s direct charger sites and a review of the current incentive program on the sale of ZEV’s.

Further, there would also be an increase in the provincial incentive program as administered by New Car Dealers Association of BC by C$20 million,bringing the total sum of incentives to C$57 million.

In the statement, the province said that it plans to increase the number of direct-current fast-charger (DCFC) sites to 151 and noted 71 have been completed with the rest in the works.

In terms of reviewing the incentive program, the province noted that it intends to make ZEVs more affordable for citizens and thus would be keeping a tab on it and expand it over the years.

“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,” Horgan said in the release.

The path taken by the B.C. government would also contribute to the province’s target of reducing greenhouse emissions by 80 percent from the 2007 levels in 2050.

At the official press briefing, Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus, noted that 40 percent of household emissions in the province come from transportation.

“The government has recognized this and is giving people an option to actually move forward by creating an environment that will lead to a wide scale adoption of zero emitting vehicles,” Weaver said.

Weaver, who drives an Nissan (TSE:7201) Leaf, said that people who get an EV will never go back to driving gasoline cars.

“They’re quiet, clean and zippy,” he said. “EVs are not only zippy but they’re fun to ride.”

Weaver noted that the province is on track to beat California’s climate change targets and has the pace to lead Canada. As highlighted by the B.C. government, the initiative is part of its upcoming climate plan.

In the release, the province noted  it has over 12,000 clean energy vehicles registered with the highest adoption of electric vehicles in the country.

According to data from Fleetcarma, the province has seen sales of 2,389 EVs in the third quarter of 2018 which marks a 151 percent improvement from the prior-year period. However, Ontario and Quebec top the charts with these provinces having witnessed sales of 5,808 units and 4,500 units respectively.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model 3, Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet (NASDAQ:GM) Bolt are the top three popular cars in B.C. with sales of 682 units, 297 units and 122 units respectively.

Jerry Kroll, CEO of Electra Meccanica (NASDAQ:SOLO), told the Investing News Network (INN) that it’s a golden opportunity for the province and the country to invest in the manufacturing of electric cars.

In speaking to INN, Kroll— who was positive on the government’s initiative—urged the federal and provincial leaders to look at the initiatives given to Tesla and “replicate” it in Canada. Kroll pointed at how Tesla received over US$450 million government repayable loans to jump start the company and its shot to success.

“That’s the kind of bold initiative that I would think the Canadian government and British Columbia government can look towards and replicate with the company like ours in British Columbia and for the world,” he said in a phone interview.

Kroll said that Electra Meccanica is the only Canadian automotive company to invest in the technology hubs that develops the cars for the future.

“So we can not [only] just manufacture the cars in Canada for Canada but that we can manufacture in Canada and export around the world, that’s the business opportunity, that’s a moneymaker and good for the environment,” he said. “I would be surprised if they [government] are not working on it. It’s too obvious and it’s very beneficial for the province and the country.”

On the government’s current initiative, Kroll called it a “wonderful thing” and said that it is a “breath of fresh air.”

“It’s something that the previous government should all be embarrassed that they did not take this step that the current B.C. government has,” Kroll said.

Clean Energy Canada, a climate and clean energy body, issued its own statement on the policy decisions and called it a “win-win” situation.

“A third of British Columbians expect their next car to be electric—even more are interested. It’s no mystery why,” Dan Woynillowicz, policy director of Clean Energy Canada, said in the release. “Not only do electric cars help cut pollution and clean up the air we breathe, in B.C. going electric cuts your fuel bill by three-quarters.”

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bala Yogesh, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in contributed article. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.


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