SURREY (NEWS1130) – BC residents will get up to $5,000 off the sticker price of a qualifying clean energy vehicle starting Dec. 1.

Environment Minister Terry Lake says the rebate includes qualifying new vehicles that are battery electric, fuel-cell electric, plug-in hybrid electric and those that operate on compressed natural gas.

Andrea Mercer, a spokeswoman for the ministry, says there are currently up to 30 such vehicles for fleets in BC, and 10 to 20 for residential use.

Blair Qualey with the New Car Dealers Association of BC says the technologies are so new that only about a dozen qualifying vehicles have been sold in BC this year, but he thinks the incentive program will get more green wheels rolling soon.

“These are all going to be available, if they’re not already available now, pretty soon, and families will be able to have a look at them in dealerships today, most of them,” he says.

He adds the government’s incentives are designed to be hassle-free.

“It’s a very quick process, so that if you walk in [to a dealership] you’ll get the credit for that right then and there,” he explains. “It’s designed as a point-of-sale incentive.”

Qualey says sticker prices for green cars like the Nissan Leaf and Smart Fortwo are currently in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 – but, like any new technology, as more people buy them prices will start to come down.

As part of the $17-million program, the province is also providing funding for new charging stations and upgrades to hydrogen fueling stations at existing facilities.

Homeowners who want to install a charging station at their residence will also get a $500 mail-in rebate for eligible units beginning Dec. 1.

Similar rebate programs on vehicles and charging stations are available elsewhere in Canada, including Quebec and Ontario.

For more information on BC’s incentive program, visit LiveSmart BC and Clean Energy Vehicles for BC.

ELIGIBLE VEHICLES

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Mitsubishi iMiev; Nissan Leaf; Tesla Roadster; Mercedes Smart Fortwo ED; Ford/Azure Dynamics Transit Connect
$5,000

Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV)

Honda Clarity, Mercedes Benz B-class F-cell
$5,000

Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) min. battery capacity of 4kWh
Toyota Plug In Prius (coming in 2012)
$2,500

Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) min. battery capacity of 15kWh

Chevrolet Volt
$5,000

Compressed Natural Gas vehicle

Honda GX, Chevy Express (CNG) (coming in 2012), GMC Savana (CNG) (Coming in 2012)
$2,500