The B.C. government said it will up the maximum electric vehicle rebate to $4,000 — a $1,000 increase — as part of a new program targeting those who need it more.
Combined with federal rebates, British Columbians can now receive up to $9,000 to buy a new electric car.
The provincial EV rebate program will be available to individuals earning less than $80,000 a year. It will apply to the purchase or lease of full electric vehicles, fuel-cell vehicles and long-range plug-in hybrids.
British Columbians looking to buy lower-range hybrids will see the maximum provincial rebate climb to $2,000 from $1,500.
“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.
The maximum rebates will also apply to households with combined annual incomes as high as $125,000.
Individuals with yearly incomes between $80,001 and $100,000 can still apply for rebates, but they will lower, ranging from $500 to $2,000.
Those with individual incomes over $100,000 or household incomes over $165,000 will not be eligible for the B.C. government rebates.
According to the province, the targeted program will cover 90 per cent of British Columbians, based on 2020 tax returns.
In addition to the increased rebates, several new vehicle types will be eligible under the provincial program. EV minivans, SUVs and pickup trucks coming onto the market will qualify for rebates if their retail price is $70,000 or under.
A price cap for compact and full-size cars remains at a maximum $55,000.
Per capita, EV purchases in B.C. are outpacing every other jurisdiction in North America, accounting for 17 per cent of new vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2022.
There are now more than 85,000 EVs registered in B.C., up from about 5,000 in 2016.
Electric vehicles are already exempt from provincial sales tax. Other incentives provided through the provincial and federal governments can cover up to 75 per cent of the installation cost of EV charging stations in workplaces, single-family homes and apartments.
The number of public chargers climbed to more than 3,100 in 2021, up from 781 in 2016.