B.C. expands training for electric vehicles to three colleges

The province also leads the country in zero-emission-vehicle sales

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      Training programs for electric-vehicle maintenance and repair have been expanded to three colleges in B.C., with training commencing this fall.

      Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines, and low carbon innovation, announced in a March 29 release that the British Columbia Institute of Technology's Burnaby campus will be joined in the Red Seal automotive technician EV Maintenance Training program by Victoria's Camosun College Interurban campus, the Prince George campus of the College of Ndew Caledonia, and Okanagan College's Kelowna campus.

      "We're supporting the growing popularity of EVs by helping auto technicians develop the skills they need to work on EVs in service centres across B.C.,"  Ralston said in the release. "The expansion of the EV Maintenance Training program will help grow our EV sector and make it even easier for British Columbians to make the switch to an EV, putting us on the road to a cleaner, better future."

      The program expansion is funded by $440,000 from B.C.'s CleanBC Go Electric program and is being developed in partnership with Trades Training B.C. TTBC is a group of 15 postsecondary schools created to foster trades training, primarily through encouraging those who are thinking of career retraining to enter trades.

      BCIT introduced its program in 2019. B.C.'s Zero-Emission Vehicle Act, passed that same year, will require all new light-duty cars and trucks sold in the province to be zero-emissions by 2040.

      According to the release, the program will open up well-paying jobs for B.C. residents and help the province in its post-pandemic economic recovery.

      Information published on the Electric Autonomy Canada (EAC) website on February 11, 2021, cited Statistics Canada numbers regarding zero-emissions-vehicle (ZEV) sales in announcing that B.C.. led the country in ZEV market share at 8.4 percent.

      B.C., specifically the cities of Victoria and Vancouver, also ranked highest in the country in other ZEV sales categories, according to EAC:

      "B.C. also had the highest percentage of battery electric vehicles relative to total ZEVs sold, at 78.3 per cent," the site stated. "That number in both Quebec and Ontario was about 65 per cent, with plug-in hybrids consisting of roughly 35 per cent of new ZEVs sold.

      "At the municipal level, Victoria, B.C. wins the award for the highest ZEV proportion of total new vehicle sales, at 12.9 per cent, followed closely by Vancouver with 10.9 per cent. ZEV market shares within Montreal and Quebec City were 7.8 and 5.1 per cent respectively, and Ottawa and Toronto at 2.6 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively."

      Since 2019, Transport Canada has offered several financial incentives to buyers or leasers of eligible ZEVs.