Good morning everyone, my name’s Blair Qualey, and I’m the Chief Car Washer of the New Car Dealers Association of BC and I’m thrilled to be here today celebrating a milestone of the sale electric vehicles in this province. The Association has been working with the BC government since 2011, actually 2010 on developing a program to provide incentives for British Columbians to take on try out the new technology that’s available today so we’re going to celebrate today the sale of a whole lot of electric vehicles here at Kia West!
We’re honored today to be joined by Linda Reimer who is the MLA for Port Moody, Coquitlam, who is going to join us and make the official presentation to be accepted on behalf of this hard-working dealership and all the men and women behind the scenes that have been helping to sell all these electric vehicles. Linda over to you and then we will let you make your presentation!
Thank you Blair, good morning ladies and gentlemen. It’s a great pleasure to be here today to celebrate the achievements of Kia West in sale of clean energy vehicles. As Blair mentioned the province introduced the clean energy vehicle program in 2011 to encourage more British Columbians to choose CEVs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since then the province has committed more than 31 million dollars from vehicle purchase incentives charging infrastructure outreach research and training.
The province administers implements and markets the CEV program partnership with the New Car Dealers Association in BC. As part of the program New Car Dealers Association created the Green Star Dealer Awards. The awards recognize BC dealerships that our leaders in the sale of electric vehicles bring public industry awareness to EV sales. In British Columbia there are regional awards for highest sales battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and an award for the most improved in EV sales.
I’m so pleased to present the Green Star Dealer Award for the highest sales battery electric vehicles in the Lower Mainland to Kia West. Congratulations to Mo Meghji, General Manager and to all of your staff for selling 38 or 39 EV’s in 2015. I understand that we are on track to exceed that figure in 2016. BC’s New Car Dealers play a vital role in encouraging more and more British Columbians to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We’re still a relatively early market stage for electric vehicles. There’s an increased cost and potential economic risk to having EV on your lots if they don’t sell quickly. Investments are needed for new and expensive technology in your service departments in addition salespersons typically have to spend more time and training and with a customer to be able to sell an EV. But EV customers also represent a new and growing market opportunity for dealers. In government we recognize and appreciate the efforts of your sales support and service staff and the investments you’re making to put more EVs on the road.
Thanks to dealerships like Kia West, British Columbia has highest per capita adoption of electrical vehicles in Canada. We should be proud of that!
And as I mentioned sales are growing between April and June 2016. BC New Car Dealers reported their highest quarterly CEV sales ever, 489 compared to 383 in the same corner in 2015. Transportation represents over a third of BCs total provincial greenhouse gas emissions, nearly half of those emissions by the average BC family so stimulating the purchase of clean energy vehicles is one of the most effective ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions especially considering that 98% of the electricity generated in BC, the electricity that powers EVs comes from clean or renewable resources. It’s this clean electricity that makes switching to an electric vehicle a practical and sustainable choice for all British Columbians.
Under a new climate leadership plan which you’ve probably all heard about the CEV program is being expanded to support new vehicle incentives of charging infrastructure as well as education and economic development initiatives new investments and programs are currently being designed. BC’s New Car Dealers will continue to be an important partner as we build on our success, work together to get even more EVs on the road and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
I would like to thank Mo Meghji and staff for organizing today’s Green Ride and Drive. It’s really important for people to get up-close and experience EVs, to see how great they are and to learn how fun they are to drive. It’s important because when a driver or when a public or private fleet buys an EV it’s good for our region and province, it is good for the planet and it is good for all of us!
So on behalf of the Provincial Government and the New Car Dealers Association, I’d like to present you with this beautiful award. Congratulations!