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Ottawa sets an obligation to sell electric vehicles

Ottawa intends to accelerate the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

Ottawa wants to ensure that Canadians drive electric vehicles and will put in place requirements to force manufacturers to sell zero-emission vehicles in addition to investing significant sums to facilitate their purchase.

In its new 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan released Tuesday morning, the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change announces that Ottawa will put in place an obligation so that, by 2035, 100% of the sales of new light-duty vehicles, including new passenger trucks, are zero-emission vehicles. In the shorter term, by 2026, Ottawa wants at least 20% of all new light-duty vehicle sales to be electric.

By 2030, 60% of new light vehicles will have to be zero emissions.

Ottawa also plans to develop zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle regulations that would require “all medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold to be zero-emission vehicles by 2040 for certain types of vehicles, depending on feasibility.”

Expanded purchase incentives

The federal government intends not only to renew the budget allocated to incentives for electric vehicles, but also to expand it.

Currently, Ottawa offers maximum assistance of $5,000 for the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle.

In the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, it is stated that “$1.7 billion will be dedicated to expanding the Incentive for Zero Emission Vehicles (iZEV) program, to reduce the cost of purchasing new light-duty electric vehicles “.

The upcoming 2022 federal budget is expected to expand this program to include used vehicles as well as more expensive EV models so that new sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks that are entering the EV market will qualify.

Objective: add 50,000 charging stations

Ottawa intends to accelerate the installation of electric vehicle charging stations with additional funding of $400 million “in support of the government’s goal to add 50,000 to Canada’s network.”

The Canada Infrastructure Bank also plans to invest $500 million in “zero-emission vehicle charging and refueling infrastructure”.

With 25% of the country’s total emissions, Canada’s transportation sector is the second largest contributor to overall GHG emissions, after the oil and gas sector, and the carbon footprint of transportation has increased by 16% over the past last 17 years.

The Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, said in an interview that it will take a little longer for transportation to catch up with other sectors in terms of reducing emissions.

The report says that by 2030 the sector should be able to reduce emissions by 23% from current levels. “We are making progress for 2030,” said Minister Guilbeault.

“But there will be even more progress to come between 2030 and 2035.”

Regionally, transportation is the main source of GHGs in the majority of provinces and territories. In Quebec, for example, transportation is responsible for approximately 40% of emissions.

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