The Canadian Province of British Columbia plans to ban the sales of non-zero emission cars by the year 2040.
British Columbia is kind of like Canada’s California. While it’s too cold for year-round beach parties and surf competitions, BC likes to take a very forward approach to things like the environment. When the United Nations publishes reports saying we’re all going to die in 20 years if we don’t start cutting our carbon emissions yesterday, BC listens. And unlike most places in the world, actually takes action.
The BC government announced on Tuesday that all new light-duty passenger vehicle sales will be either electric or zero emission by the year 2040. Legislation will be introduced next year that slowly phases out the sales of internal combustion engine vehicles and incentivizes the sale of electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Provincial sales targets will increase from 10% zero-emission vehicles by 2025 to 30% by 2030, and finally reaching 100% by 2040.
In order to help achieve those sales targets, the province will dramatically increase spending on incentives to bring down the cost of zero-emission vehicles as well as expand the province’s network of fast-charging stations to 151 locations.
BC currently offers $5,000 towards the cost of a new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, while hydrogen fuel cells are eligible for a $6,000 rebate. The government will increase spending by $20 million (or roughly $15 million USD) to improve those rebates.
"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 John Horgan in a statement.
The move follows another Canadian province, Quebec, which introduced legislation in 2016 requiring 15.5% of new vehicles by zero-emission by 2020. Similar legislation has been introduced in various American states with varying degrees of ambition.
According to Reuters, demand for electric vehicles is at an all-time high in Canada, up double from the same time last year. The most popular vehicles are the Tesla Model 3, followed by the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Bolt. However, demand for internal combustion engine vehicles still far outweighs demand for electric and hybrid vehicles.