Trading in a 15 year-old car or older to be recycled can now score electric vehicle buyers in British Columbia up to $3,250 towards the purchase of an EV – and perhaps as much as $8,250 if the BC government reinstates its $5,000 Clean Energy Vehicle rebate next week, as expected.

In a new incentive program announced Monday, the province’s cash-for-clunkers program Scrap-It will re-introduce EV incentives to the province since funds for the government’s program for new plug-in and fuel cell vehicles ran out of funds last spring. This new Scrap-It program is the first in the country to offer rebates on new or used plug-in vehicles, including ones originally sold in the U.S., which will be eligible for a rebate of up to $3,000 from the organization, plus a $250 instant rebate from the participating BC dealer where the vehicle is purchased.

The final details of BC’s renewed Clean Energy Vehicle program will be announced next week in conjunction with the 2015 Vancouver auto show. The administrators of the BC government’s plan will once again be the New Car Dealers Association of BC, which announced in late February that the program will largely mirror the previous CEV dealer rebate program. That program provided $5,000 to buyers of new battery-electric vehicles or fuel cells, including extended range EVs like the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR, down to $2,500 to plug-in vehicles with smaller batteries with much more limited all-electric range, such as Ford’s Energi cars and the Toyota Prius Plug-In.

Interestingly, the Scrap-It program as announced provides rebates to battery electric vehicles only, as well as the Volt/ELR duo, but not to any other plug-in hybrid or – perhaps most surprisingly – to fuel cell vehicles. According to Scrap-It CEO Dennis Rogoza, that’s because the whole goal of the program is to reduce overall pollution and carbon emissions, and with BC’s largely renewable electricity grid, its method of production is simply much cleaner than that for compressed hydrogen in the province right now.

“The problem with fuel cell vehicles is not the cars, but it’s the fuel,” said Rogoza in an interview this week. “Right now, there’s no low carbon commercial line of supply to make the (compressed hydrogen) fuel in the province of BC.”

This list is fluid, he said, and may change if more vehicles – either sold new in Canada or not – are deemed acceptable to the organization’s emissions cutting goals. As of the program’s announcement, it includes all BEVs sold in Canada, plus the Honda Fit EV, the Chevrolet Spark EV that’s still only available as a fleet vehicle north of the border, and the upcoming Tesla Model X SUV that’s scheduled to arrive at all North American Tesla retailers by the end of 2015.

Funding for Scrap-It’s programs does not come directly or solely from the government, since the organization is a not-for-profit society funded largely by its scrap vehicle revenue, said Rogoza, as well as commercial partners and some government grants.

“Vehicles model year 2000 or older emit up to 60 times more emissions than later models and electric vehicles have even much lower emissions,” said Rogoza in announcing the incentive. “This is the ultimate carbon reduction equivalent.”
The maximum $3,000 Scrap-It incentive is not as simple to collect as the point-of-sale CEV rebate, since the company requires proof that you’ve owned and insured the older vehicle for at least six months, and proof that you’ve had it scrapped before the rebate cheque will be issued. The complete EV program information and list of eligible vehicles can be found at

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