Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program 2021

How BC ZEV Companies Can Fund Infrastructure Projects 

Businesses operating in the zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) industry in British Columbia may be eligible for government funding for projects that fall under the category of ZEV infrastructure. These programs are designed to help the nation achieve its goal of becoming a net-zero country. Net-zero means that a country’s overall carbon emissions per year amount to either zero or less.  

Canada, being a geographically large region has a unique challenge as many Canadians must use cars for their daily activities as public transportation is limited. Commercial vehicles find it especially difficult to transition to electric due to the rate at which they require charging and the lack of infrastructure. Therefore, Canada has historically had high annual carbon emissions produced by these vehicles.  

To reach Canada’s goals of becoming a net-zero country, the government has committed to enforcing a mandatory 100% ZEV sales across from all provinces by 2035. Adopting ZEVs will prove invaluable in helping Canada achieve these goals. However, the primary challenge associated with ZEVs, a limited infrastructure, makes these goals difficult to achieve. 

To play its part, Canada’s western-most province, British Columbia, has introduced a government funding program to improve the ZEV infrastructure available to commercial vehicles.  

The program is called the Commercial Vehicle Pilots Program (CVP) and is currently open for applications. The rest of this article will look at the program’s funding allotments, eligibility criteria, and more. 

Commercial Vehicle Pilots Program (CVP) 

The Commercial Vehicle Pilot Program has goals of deploying early market ZEVs, installing charging/fueling infrastructure, and collecting and sharing data on these projects to assist future deployments of similar vehicles, future programming, and future development of ZEV technologies, as part of the program. 

Amount of Funding 

The successful applicant may be eligible to receive up to 33% of the total project costs. 

Eligible Applicants 

  • Program support is available to both public and private fleets; 
  • It is the purchaser or lessee of the vehicle technology that must submit the application for the program; and 
  • Businesses, not-for-profit organizations, local governments, Indigenous governments, and public sector organizations operating in British Columbia must be the primary applicant. 

To see the remaining applicant eligibility criteria, visit the Commercial Vehicle Pilots Program (CVP) page. 

Eligible Activities 

There should be a minimum of six ZEVs deployed on the road for weight classes 3 and 4. To deploy a ZEV for weight classes 5 and 6, a minimum of three ZEVs must be deployed. In the case of vehicles of weight classes 7 and 8, and off-road vehicles, there is no minimum number of vehicles that must be deployed. 

On-Road Vehicles 

  • There is a requirement that all on-road vehicles must exceed a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 kg (i.e., Weight Class 3 vehicles and above); 
  • All on-road vehicles of Class 3-8 must have zero tailpipe emissions when they are in operation; 
  • Vehicles must have an all-electric range of 56 kilometers, or, if the vehicle is fast-charge compatible, the vehicle must have an all-electric range of 32 kilometers. 

Off-Road Vehicles 

  • Priority will be given to vehicles that emit zero-emissions during operation; 
  • Funding may be used to support new vehicles, as well as projects that retrofit existing vehicles with zero-emission technology; and 
  • Vehicles must be covered by Canadian emission regulations where appropriate. 

To see the remaining project eligibility criteria, visit the Commercial Vehicle Pilots Program (CVP) page. 

Program Deadline 

All eligible expenses must be incurred after the Contribution Agreement has been signed. The application deadline is September 30, 2023. 

Government Funding for Automotive and ZEV Projects 

As Canada strives to reach its zero-emissions goal targets, there is likely to be more government funding programs introduced to incentivize Canadian businesses to make zero-emissions a reality. The best way to learn about new government funding opportunities is by signing up for our newsletter to receive regular funding updates.  

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