May has been an incredible month for EV sales in British Columbia, probably the biggest in new EV sales to date. It was the perfect blend of conditions for prospective EV owners. To better understand why this is, I want to provide a breakdown of the current EV market influences and what I believe is on the horizon for EVs in BC.
Fuel prices: BC has recently experienced a run of the highest gas prices in North America. In some areas, regular gasoline was fetching $1.79 per Litre. Market demand, limited supply from refineries, taxes and the current state of the oil market all contributed to this issue.
Let’s reflect on what that feels like to the owner of a Ford F150 (2.7 Ecoboost V6) which was Canadas best-selling vehicle in 2018. The Ford has a 132 Litre tank and would cost $236.30 to fill at $1.79/L. Ok sure, the combined fuel consumption figures of 11.3l/100 mean you can travel 1200kms to a tank (hard to believe) but it’s still costing you thousands in fuel each year.
Note: Based on the Step 2 Residential Rate (14.17 cents per kWh) and average energy usage of 1 kWh per 5 km. The cost to power an EV 1,200 km would be $34.008
Incentives: On May 1st 2019 the Canadian Federal Government introduced a Clean Energy Vehicle Incentive, which provides $5,000 for a battery electric vehicle and $2500 for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. There are terms and conditions when it comes to base level and maximum MSRP for these vehicle incentives. Check out those details at this link.
Combine this incentive with the already well-established BC Programs, and you could receive up to $10,000 of funding towards your new BEV. Have an old car to scrap? There was also an additional $6,000 up for grabs from the BC Scrap It Program. HUGE!
Dealer Stock: With the introduction of the new Ontario Premier; Doug Ford, and the subsequent cancellation of their provincial EV incentive programs, the sales demand dried up very quickly. Dealers were stuck holding onto large volumes of EV’s and had no choice but to sell them on to other markets that were willing to buy. BC being one of them. At one stage I heard that there were over 50 BOLT EV’s sitting in a Metro Vancouver dealership looking for new owners. This glut of dealer stock meant that new owners did not have to wait long to take delivery of their vehicle. No longer did customers in BC have to wait 3,6,12 months for their vehicle.
So, circling back to May 1st, EV buyers disgruntled with the current state of gas prices, ready to utilize all of the incentives available for them, pounced on the plethora of vehicles available in this province. Ever so quickly the BC Scrap-It program was fully committed and the CEV program quickly followed, requiring Minister Mungall to top it up with another $10 Million to keep it going.
The Vancouver sun reported that “Government stats for the CEV for B.C. incentive show that 2,248 incentives were claimed during the first 51 days of the April-June quarter, up from 2,150 during the previous full 90-day quarter.”
While we are experiencing incredible EV sales growth in this market, it is an inaccurate measure of consumer demand because of the purchase incentives that influence buying decisions. Many argue that purchase incentives are still necessary for rapid EV adoption for years to come, but is that true in BC? EVs make so much sense for this region, with low electricity prices, expansion of charging infrastructure and mild climate, BC seems to be the ideal place for EV growth. I feel that the EV incentives will come to an end in the next few years, but EV sales will probably keep rolling, especially if we begin to start reaching cost parity between the total cost of ownership of an EV and a regular gas vehicle.
In the end, people are cheap, especially in Vancouver, so ultimately they will go for the lowest cost options available.
If you have purchased an electric vehicle and need EV charging installed at your home or business, we can help! Contact Cielo Electric at 778 862 4109 or visit www.cieloelectric.ca