But will it work on the North Island?

Buying alternative fuel cars is not only good for the environment, but cheap too.

Buying alternative fuel cars is not only good for the environment, but cheap too.

But whether or not they’re an answer on the North Island is up for debate.

The Clean Energy Vehicles for BC program is encouraging new car buyers to opt for cleaner vehicles by offering rebates of up to $5000 off the pre-tax price.

While it sounds like a great deal, there are a number of caveats and stumbling blocks for buyers/drivers on the North Island.

First, the vehicles eligible for the rebate are not particularly suited to North Island conditions.

“They’re best used in a metro area,” said Todd Landon, of  Port Hardy’s Dave Landon Motors Ltd.

He also said that an all-electric car would not be able to make it to Campbell River from Port Hardy.

This, combined with the complete lack of natural gas, hydrogen, and electric (other than home adaptors) fueling stations in the region greatly limits one’s options, he said.

Also there is no guarantee that any eligible cars will be available at either of our two local dealerships, and if there are, then they won’t be in stock for some time. However, there could be some benefit to be had after all.

B.C. based businesses, local governments and First Nations are also eligible for rebates.

Program estimates suggest that hydro expenses per car could cost as little as $300 per year, as opposed to $1500 a year in gas costs.

But until and unless the appropriate infrastructure for fueling CEV’s is provided, opportunities will remain limited on the North Island.