Think Green: Exempt Electric Vehicles from Luxury Tax

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All electric vehicles are valuable in our fight to curb CO2 emissions and to face up to climate change. The province imposes an extra 3% pst (total 10% pst) on electric vehicles (EVs) over $57,000 and now with the 2018 budget, an extra 8% (total 15%pst) Luxury Vehicle Tax (with 5% GST on top of that) on EVs priced between $125,000 and $150,000. 

Unfortunately this means the “long range” versions of Tesla Model S and Model X, both exceptional zero emissions vehicles which aren’t even eligible for EV purchase incentives, are at a serious price disadvantage next to fossil-fuelled (CO2 emitting) vehicles of comparable features, quality and performance. 

We feel this is a punitive measure against EV buyers, especially those who need the extra range only available from more costly EVs. Without such greater range it’s hard for many buyers to justify buying an EV at all.  Rather than rewarding their clean air choice, this tax discourages or punished those who take action to reduce their personal transport carbon foot print. 

Further, the higher taxed EVs are premium level vehicles that have the potential to inspire the image and performance conscious motorist, (not just environmentally-minded drivers) to switch from polluting, CO2 emitting internal combustion vehicles to zero emissions electric cars. This is an important fulcrum for social change in our energy future. 

The luxury car tax would be a more effective climate change mitigation measure if it were a graduated tax on all vehicles indexed to their respective exhaust green house gas emissions, rather than their price, since price has little to do with climate impacting emissions. 

We ask that ALL BATTERY ELECTRIC PASSENGER VEHICLES BE EXEMPT FROM THE CURRENT “LUXURY TAX” including the changes set out in the BC 2018 Provincial Budget. 



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