The Advanced Research and Commercialization (ARC) program in British Columbia (B.C.) is a fundamental part of the Province’s CleanBC Go Electric Program, designed to support the development of companies operating in the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sector, and to encourage international investment in the ZEV sector in B.C. It is the intention of the ARC program to provide reliable and targeted support to build on existing strengths or eliminate barriers for companies in the sector. The ARC program will provide support to B.C. companies to invest in product development and commercialization activities through to long-term demonstration projects.
The following general groups of activities are eligible for funding under the ARC program:
- Pre-commercial research and development of a B.C.-based ZEV product, service or technology;
- Commercialization of a B.C.-based ZEV product, service or technology, including investments in manufacturing facilities or processes; and
- Use or demonstration of a B.C.-based ZEV product, service or technology.
Currently, the program is not intended to fund the following types of activities:
- Marketing activities, including attendance at trade shows.
- Consumer-based activities, such as purchase or sales incentives.
Eligible Proponents include any private entity or organization operating in the ZEV sector, validly incorporated or registered in Canada.
The ZEV sector is defined to include battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, and includes companies and organizations involved in all aspects of the ZEV supply chain – from raw materials to final consumer products – related to vehicles or vehicle components, fuel and infrastructure, and transferable technologies and services.
In 2015, the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sector in British Columbia (B.C.) encompassed 198 companies, employed approximately 3,850 full-time equivalent jobs, and contributed approximately $700 million in total direct economic activity. In 2015/16, MNP LLP (MNP) was engaged by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation to complete an Economic Opportunities Assessment Report that summarized the current state of the ZEV sector in B.C. and identified opportunities to grow and expand economic activity in the sector.
Through a series of interviews, workshops and a comprehensive industry survey, the Economic Opportunities Assessment Report identified a number of barriers to the growth of the ZEV sector in B.C. The lack of access to capital, difficulties in scaling, and limited government procurement in early adoption of ZEV technology were identified as key barriers to the growth of the ZEV sector in B.C. The ARC program was designed in response to these findings and is intended to answer the sector’s specific needs. Please note that an update to the 2016 study is currently underway.