By Blair Qualey
As we enter the initial days of 2023, our sector continues to face challenges because of the ongoing semiconductor shortage, which has in turn impacted the supply chain and new vehicle inventory on many new car dealers’ lots.
Despite these challenges, we are buoyed with a sense of optimism about the year ahead.
Zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption continued to gain a stronger share of the light vehicle market last year. Despite the noted supply chain issues, in the first eight months of 2022, more than 10,000 rebate applications were submitted by consumers in this province and the ZEV share of the light vehicle market reached 14.6 per cent.
There is no reason to expect that this positive trend won’t continue, and we anticipate that as supply chain difficulties start to subside, there will be a corresponding surge in ZEV sales. It’s expected this will be especially true with electric pickup trucks, which are the preferred mode of transportation for many British Columbians, and a requirement for many who may live or work in resource communities.
The NCDA is honoured to have administered the CleanBC Go Electric Rebate Program on behalf of the Province of BC since its inception in 2010. In total, consumers have experienced more than $200 million in rebates. Today, there are more than 80,000 zero emission vehicles on BC highways and our dealers are proud of the role they play in being part of a solution that is good for the economy and good for the environment.
Having incentives to bring down the cost of purchasing a new vehicle is an important aspect of our strategy to increase ZEV adoption. However, other important elements include ongoing advocating for policy and funding decisions among the three levels of government to create greater charging capacity where people live work and play. As more consumers purchase ZEVs, it will be imperative that the ability to access a robust network of charging stations keeps pace, along major traffic corridors, and in rural communities. The ability to educate consumers and create more awareness about the benefits of ZEV ownership is another key element.
The transition to a clean and sustainable economy has been accelerating over the last decade, and while it shows no sign of slowing down, an ongoing commitment to address key factors will be important. This will be especially true if we are to meet the federal government’s recently proposed regulations that will require at least 20 per cent of new vehicles sold in Canada be zero emission by 2026 and the provincial mandate that all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales to be ZEVs by 2035.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
READ MORE: The DOs and DON’Ts associated with zero-emission vehicles