Consumer confusion after B.C. slashes electric vehicle incentives
The industry representing new car and truck dealers in B.C. says the province's sudden slashing of rebates it hands out for purchasing electric vehicles led to confusion for customers.
"It did create a little confusion on Saturday when the news release went out from the government making changes to the clean energy program of B.C.," said Blair Qualey, the president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC.
Qualey said much of the confusion surrounded the timeline of putting down a deposit and how the rebate cuts would affect a customer.
"Fortunately the government recognized there were a number of individuals who had put a deposit down on a vehicle…and they will get a chance to have that vehicle with the full incentives," he said.
In a news release sent out over the weekend, the provincial government announced a top up of its clean energy vehicle for B.C. program, while simultaneously reducing the rebate.
A $5,000 rebate for battery, fuel cell and longer-range plug-in hybrid vehicles dropped to $3,000 and rebates for plug-in vehicles dropped to $1,500.
The B.C. program previously offered up to $5,000 for qualifying new battery electric, fuel-cell electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
The government says its budget had only committed roughly $42.5 million towards its clean energy vehicle for B.C. rebate program, already releasing $15 million this year.
Despite the cuts, the NDP spun the decreases as a success.
"Part of our CleanBC plan, the CEVforBC program has been a resounding success. The changes we are making today will ensure it remains accessible and supports even more British Columbians in getting their first clean energy vehicle," said Michelle Mungall, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, in a statement.