Tesla’s Model 3 standard range tops electric cars in B.C. for rebate claimed by owners

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Sales of zero-emission cars accounted for almost 10 per cent of all car sales in B.C. in 2020 — the highest electric vehicle uptake in North America —according to Bruce Ralston, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

The Zero Emission Vehicle Update 2020, released on Tuesday, showed there were 54,469 licensed zero emission vehicles on the road as of the end of 2020 (40,013 battery electric vehicles, 14,402 plug-in hybrids and 54 hydrogen cars).

In 2018, electric vehicle car sales made up just over four per cent of all car sales in B.C. In 2020, that figure was 9.2 per cent.

“With the highest reported uptake rates of EVs in North America, B.C. is quickly becoming a leader in the EV industry,” Ralston said.

B.C.’s Zero-Emission Vehicles Act states 100 per cent of light-duty vehicles sold in the province must be EVs by 2040. This act can be repealed by another government.

The provincial government offers a $3,000 rebate to anyone buying a non-luxury all-electric vehicle.

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The ZEV report showed the most rebates were given to Tesla 3 base model owners, followed by Hyundai Kona, Toyota Prius Prime, Mitsubishi Outlander and Chevy Bolt.

Ralston said B.C. has more than 2,500 public charging stations, including 205 public DC superchargers. Tesla has its own network of 16 supercharging stations in B.C. available only to Tesla owners. Tesla sells a range of adapters that allow owners to use all public stations (free and for-pay).

There are generally three levels of charging available for EV owners. Standard 120-volt most common in homes that takes a day to charge, second-tier chargers that offer a full charge in several hours and superchargers that can recharge an EV in less than an hour.

In B.C. the common second-level charging stations are operated by ChargePoint, Flo and B.C. Hydro.

Some ChargePoint and Flo locations are free — like in Pacific Spirit Regional Park in Vancouver — while others are located in parkades where a ticket must be bought to use the charger.

B.C. Hydro has been offering its chargers for free, but as of May 1 the utility will bill between 12 and 27 cents a minute for use (as permitted by the B.C. Utilities Commission).

B.C. Hydro’s 2021 rebate scheme offering up to $700 to pay for a homeowner to install a level-two charger was capped on Feb. 28 due to demand.



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