Climate change mitigation and adaptation opportunities
May 3, 2023
Climate change is a significant priority for the government of British Columbia. The scale of the climate emergency demands urgent action. The Passenger Transportation Board (Board) is reviewing its policies and procedures to support this priority through the regulation of the passenger transportation industry.
The Climate Change Accountability Act and 2021 Ministerial Order set the Province’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reductions targets at 40% by 2030, with 27% to 32% for the transportation sector of the economy. CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province’s climate action plan, sets out the pathways to achieving these targets. Key actions for the transportation sector include:
- Accelerating the switch to zero-emission vehicles (ZEV)
- Increasing shifts to energy efficient modes of transportation
- Improving vehicle efficiency
- Reducing distance travelled
- Using clean fuels
- Expanding BC’s public charging network
A Clean Transportation Action Plan, which will highlight additional steps government will take to reduce emissions in the transportations sector, is anticipated in 2023.
The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act requires all motor vehicles sold in BC to be ZEVs by 2040.
Section 42.1 of the Passenger Transportation Act has requirements to examine the impact of the passenger transportation industry on congestion and the environment.
There are several incentive programs which the passenger transportation industry can use to contribute to climate change goals. These programs subsidize the adoption of clean technology and to reduce GHG emissions.
BC Government initiatives include the following:
- CleanBC Go Electric rebate program, which offers up to $4,000 for individuals and $3,000 per vehicle for businesses to purchase a ZEV (up to ten rebates for fleets).
- CleanBC Go Electric Fleets Program, which helps cover the costs of fleet assessments, ZEV infrastructure assessment, electrical infrastructure, and charging infrastructure. This program does not stack with some other rebates programs.
- CleanBC Go Electric Public Charger Program, which provides $20,000 for fast chargers available to the public.
- CleanBC Go Electric Commercial Vehicle Pilots program supports businesses looking to deploy commercial ZEVs, including medium and heavy-duty on-road vehicles along with supporting infrastructure. As part of the program, operational data will be gathered from funded projects and used with the goal of increasing the adoption of ZEVs in commercial fleets in BC.
- Provincial sales tax are waived for used electric vehicles and applies a higher luxury tax threshold.
In addition, there are the following relevant programs:
- EV advisors are available to Stratas and workplaces.
- ZEVs in BC are permitted to use the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes regardless of the number of occupants in the vehicle.
- BC Hydro and Fortis BC each provide rebates for EV chargers at homes and workplaces, as well as EV infrastructure and EV ready plans.
- The SCRAP-IT program provides $500 cash when scrapping a qualifying vehicle.
- The Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association can coordinate up to 35% off the price of new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in a fleet.
The Government of Canada also offers the following initiatives:
- Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program rebate up to $5,000 per vehicle.
- EV Fleet Charging program cover $100,000 or 50% of project costs for commercial fleet installations. This program does not stack with some of BC’s programs.
- Canada allows businesses to write ZEV purchases off their taxes.
The Board has not made any decisions yet, but it is committed to support the GHG reduction target. The Board intends its review of existing policy and procedures related to climate change to further align with the regulatory framework.
The Board recognizes the efforts to address climate change made by many members of the industry and encourages further shifts toward a more environmentally sustainable passenger transportation industry.