The B.C. Government has set out rules for ramping up sales of electric vehicles over the coming decades, with the goal of reaching 100% by 2040.

The regulations which will see the gradual ramping up of electric vehicle production and sales are being made under the Province’s Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Act that was passed in 2019.

“British Columbians are eager to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle, help reduce air pollution and save on fuel costs, but price and availability can be barriers,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Today we are one step closer to ensuring that in less than 20 years, every new car sold in B.C. will be a zero-emission vehicle powered by clean electricity.”

The B.C. Government said the ZEV act requires automakers to meet increasing annual levels of electric vehicle (EV) sales, reaching 10% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040. The new ZEV regulations set the annual targets and other requirements to ensure vehicle manufacturers increase the variety and number of EVs that meet the demands of B.C. consumers.

“Growing numbers of British Columbians are switching to electric vehicles and benefiting from an improved driving experience, zero air pollution and much lower fuel and maintenance costs,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We’re supporting this transition by making electric vehicles and charging more affordable and available around the province. These changes will help us to build a cleaner, better future where all new vehicles are zero-emission.”

According to the Provincial Government, EV sales made up 9% of all light-duty vehicle sales in 2019 and the first half of 2020, making it the highest sales rate in Canada. The Province has invested $20-million in point-of-purchase rebates to make purchasing an EV more affordable.

An advisory committee will be established to provide input on EV programming and policies as well as ZEV regulation. The B.C. Government said the committee will be made up of representatives from industry, environmental non-governmental organizations, local governments, Indigenous groups, infrastructure providers and academics.