BCIT receives funding to help raise electric vehicle (EV) awareness in underrepresented communities

BCIT receives funding from the Minister of Natural Resources

Through the Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN)’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI), the Minister of Natural Resources announced a combined federal investment totalling nearly $5.9 million in 28 organizations across Canada to undertake zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) awareness projects. This funding hopes to support Canadians in understanding the clean options available to them when choosing their vehicles, such as electric or hydrogen vehicles or clean micro-mobility solutions like e-bikes.

The Fueling Change project: Identifying barriers to EV adoption in underrepresented communities

Among the 28 organizations, the BCIT Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) received $300,000 in funding to help raise awareness about EV in underrepresented communities. BCIT’s project, “Fueling Change – Education for a Zero Emissions Future”, was announced on May 17, 2023, and will enable BCIT researchers, faculty, and partners collaborate in identifying barriers to EV adoption among underrepresented communities including persons with disabilities, Indigenous persons, and youth with an emphasis on rural and remote areas.

The “Fueling Change” project aims to build awareness, educate, and demonstrate the positive attributes of passenger EVs – in an effort to encourage Canadians to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) and reduce pollution from the transportation sector. Specifically, one of the project outcomes will include delivery of a free online microcredential course which will be made accessible and available to all Canadians.

BCIT as a leader in EV and sustainability

In tandem with the Government of Canada’s plan to fight climate change, ensure clean air in our communities, and support the workforce gap in the trades sector, BCIT has been leading the charge for EVs in the past few years.  This includes launching the first pilot micro-credential program for EV Maintenance Training in 2019 for tenured Red Seal Automotive Technicians, and more recently a partnership with Tesla START that offers a first-of-its-kind, specialized EV training pathway program.

BCIT CARI has collaborated with national and international institutions, organizations, and industrial partners and developed hundreds of practical solutions to industry challenges for the past 30 years. As a conduit for assisting Canadian companies and communities to innovate for a better economy, BCIT CARI is proud be at the forefront of EV adoption and transportation sustainability.

BCIT is also proud to be a partner in the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery Quick Train Canada initiative which is supporting fully funded education opportunities for Canadians to grow the green economy.

BCIT would also like to thank our project partners and supporters, including FLO | AddÉnergie, and Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEV).


The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources 

“Zero-emission vehicles are helping Canadians to reduce emissions and save money on fuel while creating good jobs throughout the supply chain. Investing in zero-emission vehicles will put more Canadians in the driver’s seat on the road to a net-zero future and help achieve our climate goals.”

Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The Government of Canada is supporting Canadians to accelerate to a net-zero future, including by supporting the purchase, manufacturing and charging of electric vehicles. I am pleased to announce new supports for local organizations across the country to raise awareness about zero-emission vehicles to help Canadians make the switch. At the same time, the Government of Canada’s new ZEV Hub will act as a one-stop shop for information on our investments and programs across departments.”

Jennifer Figner, Vice President, Academic, BCIT

“The Fueling Change – Education for a Zero Emissions Future initiative is a natural extension of work already underway at BCIT to assist Canadians adapt and thrive in the green economy.  We appreciate the financial contribution from the Government of Canada and look forward to releasing a new electric vehicle microcredential in the coming the months.”

Dr. Kim Dotto, Dean, Applied Research, BCIT

“BCIT researchers and research groups have been working with industry clients for 30 years, helping companies and organizations develop new technologies, products, and services. As the only BC post-secondary with a provincial mandate for strategic workforce development, BCIT’s “Fueling Change” project is another step in the right direction to building a sustainable future for BC communities and beyond.”

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