A direct-current fast charging station for electric vehicles at Squamish. (Black Press files)

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

Less than half of B.C.’s car dealerships have electric cars available for purchase, according to a report released Wednesday from Clean Energy Canada.

The authors posed as potential buyers at 292 car dealerships across the province and found starkly different responses as they called around B.C.

In the Lower Mainland, 54 per cent of car dealership had electric cars, although buyers had to wait between a few months and a whole year in order to get their hands on one.

The number went down on Vancouver Island and along the Sunshine Coast, with 43 per cent of dealerships having electric cars.

In Interior B.C., just 27 per cent of car dealerships had electric cars.

But if you’re trying to buy an electric car, don’t head north: just seven per cent of car lots had one.

READ MORE: B.C.’s subsidized electric vehicle sales gaining speed

READ MORE: B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

The lack of electric vehicles up north may be tied to a dearth of knowledge about the rebates available to buyers of electric cars or the charges needed to keep them running.

The point-of-sale incentive program, administered by the New Car Dealers, provides up to $5,000 for purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, or up to $6,000 for the emerging technology of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

In September, the province added $10 million to an existing $27 million fund for the rebate program, saying the cash it had set aside earlier was about to run out.

Up north, none of the car dealerships were aware of the province’s rebate program for either the cars or chargers.

In the Lower Mainland, with their much higher rates of electric cars, 75 per cent of car dealerships knew about the electric car rebate and 34 per cent knew about the charger rebate.

Across the board, researchers found that most salespeople were excited about selling electric cars.

“If we had more Bolts, way more would be sold,” one salesperson said.

“We just need the vehicles. They’re getting all eaten up in California.”

A survey conducted by the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. last month found that two out of five drivers are “definitely” or “probably” considering an electric vehicle.

Despite that, researchers spoke to customers frustrated with a lack of electric cars in the province.

Randy Rinaldo, of Burnaby, wanted to buy an electric Fiat 500 but had to go south of the border to find one.

“I was ready, willing and [an] able customer with money in hand to buy this car and there was no one to supply it for me,” Rinaldo said.

“We should just be able to walk into a dealership and buy these cars.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Vernon Vipers acquire power forward

Former Salmon Arm Silverback Jarrod Semchuk, from Kamloops, comes to Vernon via Bonnyville of AJHL

Major road project in Towship of Spallumcheen starts Monday

Reconstruction and repaving of 1.4-kilometre stretch of Back Enderby Road to last until October

No abandoned Seadoo found on Coldstream lake

Vernon Search and Rescue crews and RCMP unable to find reported abandoned Seadoo on Kal Lake

Okanagan Science Centre open with pandemic safety measures

The Vernon centre has also added four new entries to its summer camp lineup

Coldstream defenceman warrants U17 camp call

Jace Weir, 16, of the Okanagan Rockets one of 113 players picked for Hockey Canada virtual camp

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Kelowna high school football star, water skier, signs with University of Calgary

Isaac Athans, and his family, have a long history of success across various sports in the Okanagan, nationally

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read