One-in-three British Columbians expect to buy an electric car as their next vehicle, but they’re going to have trouble finding one.
Despite the surge in interest, less than half of the dealerships in B.C. have any electric vehicles at all according to a new report from Clean Energy Canada.
The organization contacted over 300 dealerships and found that only 40 per cent of dealerships had even one electric vehicle on the lot.
“No one wants to wait a year to get an electric car — often without the option of even test-driving it first. Maybe that person waits, maybe they get a gas-fuelled car instead. At a time when we need to do more than ever to cut pollution and enhance affordability in this province, it’s an unacceptable situation for British Columbians who want to go electric,” said Clean Energy Canada policy director Dan Woynillowicz.
The study also found that customers who do go ahead and order an electric vehicle often find themselves on a long waitlist. Dealerships reported wait times of three months to a year and a half.
In Norway, one of the global leaders in electric vehicle adoption, fully electric cars now make up 45 per cent of new car sales and that number rises to 60 per cent when plug-in hybrids are included in the tally.
B.C.’s provincial government is currently developing a policy to boost the number of electric vehicles on the road. One option is to follow the lead of jurisdictions like Quebec and California which would require automakers to sell more EV’s in the province.
In California 6.2 per cent of new car sales are now electric but the number is just 3.5% in B.C..
B.C. is considering a mandate which would require electric vehicle sales of five per cent by 2020, 10 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.