Blair Qualey, President & CEO, New Car Dealers Association of BC (NCDA) takes part in the province’s first-ever ZEV Forum event in Victoria, B.C.
ZEV days in B.C. put dealers in spotlight
September 18, 2023
It’s hard to be an effective advocate for your members when you are outside of the tent.
When it comes to moving to an electrified future, one where zero emissions vehicles are in the forefront, the New Car Dealers Association of BC (NCDA), is making sure it is invited inside the tent, and can make a meaningful contribution.
The NCDA’s close collaboration with governments, utilities, suppliers, First Nations, and OEMs was in evidence at the first ever ZEV Council event, known as ZEV Forum Days, from September 11-12 in Victoria, B.C.
“If we are to have a say and truly collaborate with governments and other key players in shaping the future of zero emission vehicles — we need a seat at the table,” said Blair Qualey, President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia (NCDA). “BCs New Car Dealers have been integral partners with government for over 12 years in achieving BCs nation-leading level of ZEV vehicle adoption. However, the entire ecosystem needs to share knowledge and work together to plan for the future and overcome obstacles — if we are to achieve the kind of success we all want to see.”
Qualey said the forum gave participants an opportunity to provide input into the Province of British Columbia’s policies and programs. “There are also many other players involved, including the auto industry, utilities, infrastructure developers, academic institutions, environmental groups, First Nations, ports, fleets, and other actors in the ZEV ecosystem. We all need to be talking and sharing ideas,” said Qualey.
The packed agenda covered key topics such as an update on the current success of the current ZEV sector in the province, how governments should evolve policies to support the transition to ZEVs, and other infrastructure changes needed to sustain growth.
The event showcased B.C.’s progress adopting ZEVs, that includes the following achievements:
- In 2022, B.C. had the highest uptake rates of ZEVs in Canada;
- In 2022, light-duty ZEV sales represented 18.1% of all new light-duty vehicle sales in B.C. and so far in 2023 that number is almost 21 percent;
- 109,873 light-duty ZEVs are registered in B.C. as of December 31, 2022; and
- At the end of 2022, there were over 3,800 public charging stations in B.C.
The group discussed the challenges ahead including the price of ZEVs, the need for significantly more charging infrastructure where people live, work and socialize, and the ongoing challenge of vehicle availability flowing from the pandemic’s impact on supply chains, the War in Ukraine and softening ZEV demand in some regions.
Disparities in various factors between urban and rural areas, including income differences, availability of charging infrastructure and different vehicle needs, among others, were identified for the BC government to consider before it looks at modifying ZEV regulations this fall.