Energy Minister Bill Bennett says the province will offer incentives for the purchase or lease of new battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

“Now with our third consecutive balanced budget, we’re able to afford about $10.5 million that’s going to go into, first and foremost, some $5,000 incentives to consumers who will buy electric vehicles,” Minister Bennett goes on to say. “There’s also $1 million that’s going to go towards developing electric vehicle fleets, and there’s about $1.6 million that’s going to go into charging stations – which is part and parcel what you need to do.”

“You can’t just stop at incentivising people to buy electric vehicles; you also have to make it easier for them to recharge.”

The second phase of the program begins next Wednesday April 1, 2015, and the Ministry of Energy will administer and implement it in partnership with the Fraser Basin Council, the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, and the New Car Dealers Association of BC – which is led by President and CEO Blair Qualey.

“We’ve been talking to the government, I think for a year now, around the opportunity to…recharge the Clean Energy Vehicle Program, so we’re all excited about that – we think it’s terrific news,” says Qualey. “We were honoured to run the last program for the provincial government, and we’re really pleased to see the minister make the announcement.”

Qualey adds, “This government’s shown strong leadership on the environment; strong leadership around the automotive sector, so this is terrific news for British Columbia and our environment.”

Today electric vehicles typically cost about 25 per cent more than non-electric ones, but they can save motorists about 75 per cent of their fuel costs.