The B.C. government says it is boosting its rebate program for electric vehicles to make them more affordable and accessible.
A statement from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation says the maximum provincial return for battery-electric, fuel-cell electric and long-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles has been increased from $3,000 to $4,000.
Combined with federal rebates, British Columbians can now receive up to $9,000 to buy a new electric car.
The maximum rebate for lower-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles has been increased to $2,000 from the previous high of $1,500.
The ministry says eligibility for a rebate will be based on income levels, with someone who earns up to $80,000, or a household with an income up to $125,000, eligible for the maximum rebate.
“We’re improving our rebate program to make EVs more affordable and accessible for more families,” said Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Bruce Ralston in a prepared statement.
According to the province, the targeted program will cover 90 per cent of British Columbians, based on 2020 tax returns.
The price cap to determine eligibility for vehicle rebates in B.C. remains at a maximum of $55,000 for compact and full-sized cars, but the energy ministry says a second category is being added to support those requiring larger EVs, such as soon-to-arrive mini vans, SUVs and pickup trucks.
The cap for those vehicles has been set at a maximum retail price of $70,000.
B.C. says it also increased affordability of EVs this year by making them exempt from provincial sales tax.