The Automotive Retailers Association of British Columbia (ARA) is pleased to announce the launch of EVfriendly, an industry-led program, sponsored by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, designed to cultivate a higher degree
of confidence in zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) ownership.
The program helps ensure that only trained and qualified industry professionals are selling, servicing, repairing, and recycling ZEVs, in a responsible and safe manner, and provides consumers with the right information to make informed choices.
Research has demonstrated that consumers share many of the same concerns as those in the automotive services industry—that is, concerns about recycling and the environment, battery safety and maintenance issues.
“The motivation for developing EVfriendly was to help instill greater confidence for consumers who are likely to transition from driving a conventional, gas-powered vehicle to an all-electric or plug-in hybrid,” said senior project manager, Ken Hendricks. “For those drivers who have already made the switch to electric, we want to reassure them that their car will be properly cared for by trained and qualified industry professionals.”
In an October 25, 2021, news release, the provincial government announced updates to its CleanBC climate plan, including nation-leading adoption of ZEVs by 2030, and 100 percent new ZEVs sales by 2035. The original target, set a few years ago, was for all new light-duty passenger vehicle sales to be ZEVs by 2040. Since then, the federal government has mandated ZEV adoption by 2035, so the B.C. target will now align with the federal target.
“With the highest uptake rates of electric vehicles in North America, B.C. is positioned to become a leader in the industry,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “By ensuring the availability of more qualified professionals in the industry, the EVfriendly program will support this uptake and make it easier for more British Columbians to go electric.”
“Development of the EVfriendly program began a couple of years ago,” explained ARA president and CEO Adrian Scovell, “and our goal from the beginning was to help prepare the industry for the transition to electric vehicles so that consumers can be confident there is an infrastructure of fully-trained and equipped services in place to care for their vehicles. This includes sales, mechanical and collision repair, towing, and recycling.”
A business can apply to become an EVfriendly certified service provider if it satisfies the qualifying criteria, and after its employees have completed the applicable EVfriendly online training (and third-party training for automotive repair technicians).
The program’s website, evfriendly.ca, includes videos and articles for both consumers and industry. In the case of consumers, the material answers questions about ZEV ownership and clears the air on some of the misconceptions and misinformation found elsewhere. For industry, it explains why becoming EVfriendly-certified is good for business.
“We are very pleased to launch this new program in B.C.,” said Hendricks. “We hope, and fully expect that it will quickly become the trusted, go-to resource as our province transitions to a cleaner, greener transportation system.”
EVfriendly is an industry-led program, sponsored by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, designed to cultivate a higher degree of confidence in zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) ownership. To assist with the success of the EVfriendly program, an alliance of stakeholders was formed to provide input to the program development and to assist with the implementation of its long-term strategy. The members are collectively referred to as the ZEV Alliance and include representatives from the Automotive Retailers Association, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the British Columbia Automobile Association, the Industry Training Authority, WorkSafeBC, the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association, the Victoria Electric Vehicle Club, the automotive recycling industry, the automotive service and repair industry, the automotive towing industry, and the licensed motor dealer industry.
For more information, visit evfriendly.ca
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.