British Columbia: 100% Zero Emission Vehicles by 2040

British Columbia: 100% Zero Emission Vehicles by 2040

On May 29th, British Columbia passed the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act (ZEVA), which sets a phased-in approach to zero-emission vehicles – 10% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

British Columbians buy more zero emission vehicles than any province in Canada, and the provincial government recently bumped up their CEVforBC rebate program by another $10 million.

“The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act will make sure British Columbia continues to be on the forefront of the clean energy revolution,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

Of course, the economics of zero-emission vehicles – battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel-cell – are far from settled. You’ll pay more upfront for EVs than gas-powered vehicles while (presumably) saving on fuel and maintenance.

Internal combustion engines have far more trouble spots than batteries, and the former is a lot more pricy to maintain – unless the EV’s battery goes kaput. Then the “break even” point might never arrive.

But the energy savings are undeniable. According to Forbes, the U.S. average per gallon of gasoline is $2.50, while it would cost $1.10 per eGallon to charge an electric car (according to a tool developed by the Department of Energy). Then again, the long-term savings vary per city and state.

Factoring in average commutes plus regional gas and electricity prices changes the equation significantly – the “Annual Electrical Commute Cost” is $54.03 in New Orleans but $157.16 in NYC. Meanwhile, the “Annual Gas Car Commute Cost” is $137.28 in New Orleans vs. $212.16 in NYC (and a whopping $316.15 in Atlanta).

And yes, I realize I used American examples for a Canadian law. But as the B.C. government points out, ZEVA is based on other laws already in effect in Quebec, California, and nine other U.S. states.

Read more about this significant piece of legislation here: