British Columbia has become the 14th jurisdiction to sign on to the International Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance, whose members strive to make all new passenger vehicles in their jurisdictions ZEVs by no later than 2050.
B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak made the announcement on Thursday at the 2015 COP21 climate conference underway in Paris, France. Achieving the 2050 goal will accelerate the global transition to ZEVs and could reduce transportation sector climate impacts by more than one billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by 2050, lowering global vehicle emissions by about 40%, the Ministry of Environment said in a press release.
“Transportation represents over a third of B.C.’s total provincial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and nearly half the emissions by the average B.C. family,” Polak said in the release. “As a member of this international alliance, we will work with other governments and partners and at home in British Columbia to increase the adoption of ZEVs and reduce tailpipe emissions, helping us fulfil our international climate action responsibilities.”
ZEVs in use today include battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Other governments that have signed on to the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance include Quebec, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the states of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.
According to B.C.’s environment ministry, the province is a leader in clean-energy vehicles with the largest public charging infrastructure network in Canada and the second-highest per capita adoption of electric vehicles in the country. The province introduced the Clean Energy Vehicle Program in 2011 and has since committed $25 million to make clean energy vehicles more affordable and reduce GHG emissions. The program offers point-of-sale purchase incentives up to $5,000 for the purchase or lease of a new battery-electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the ministry said. Since 2011, the program has supported the purchase of approximately 2,000 electric vehicles and the development of over 1,000 charging stations.
The ministry also reported that in 2012, the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels resulted in the avoidance of over 900,000 tonnes of GHGs in B.C. – the equivalent of removing more than 190,000 vehicles from the road. By 2020, the low-carbon fuel requirements are expected to result in the avoidance of 2.7 million tonnes of GHGs annually. A further 20 DC fast charging stations and 200 level 2 charging stations will be installed by March 31, 2018.