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Province pleased with response to electric vehicle program

Electric vehicles in the province can travel in high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and so far, 1,000 residents have taken advantage of the special allowance.

In March, the province announced that eligible electric vehicles could travel in the HOV lanes without having to meet the occupancy requirements. Since then, the province has handed out 1,000 decals to vehicle owners.

Drivers must clearly display the decal issued by the province. The decal must be attached on the rear bumper or window and be visible at all times. Electric vehicles are defined as battery electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Vehicles that rely on gas-electric hybrid motors that do not plug into an external source are not eligible to receive a decal.

“The response to this program has been fantastic,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone said. “Immediately after we announced it in March, electric vehicle owners were calling and emailing the ministry to apply for a decal — an indication of British Columbians’ willingness to look for more fuel-efficient transportation options and support our efforts to address climate change.”

To let drivers know that electric vehicles are permitted in HOV lanes, new electric vehicle “tabs” have been posted below highway HOV signs in the Lower Mainland and Kelowna.

The province is working to encourage people to make greener choices by promoting the sale of electric vehicles. Supporting alternative and more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies is a key component in the B.C. on the Move 10-year transportation plan.

The province also offers financial incentives of up to $5,000 on the purchase or lease of a new battery-electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

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