June 10, 2023

Canada is taking its boldest stance yet on electric vehicles

Canada recently released the first details of its flagship policy to achieve one of its most ambitious climate goals to date — by 2035, every new car sold in the country must be zero-emissions. While ambitious, Canada may well reach a milestone within the next 12 years.

Despite veterans like Tesla having saturated Canada over the years, the country’s electric car sector is still in its infancy. In 2021, only 5.6% of new cars sold in Canada will be electric. By comparison, electric cars accounted for 19 percent of new car sales in Great Britain. Electric cars are even more impressive across the EU and China, where they accounted for 17% and 16% of new car sales, respectively.

As stated in the report The Toronto Star, government actions and electric vehicle policies have had a significant impact on EV sales in Canadian provinces. For example, in British Columbia, one in five new cars sold in the third quarter of 2022 were electric, but in Ontario the ratio was one in 13. Accordingly, the Canadian federal government announced its regulatory proposals to meet sales targets for zero-emission vehicles. even an inter-provincial playing field.

A new policy in Canada requires automakers to increase the percentage of electric vehicles sold in the country. This is because while measures to promote the adoption of electric vehicles may not have problems of increasing demand, they do not address supply. A federal policy forcing automakers to increase their offerings of electric vehicles in Canada would then allow more customers in the country to choose an electric car.

Consumers are likely to appreciate such a strategy. According to a survey conducted by Clean Energy Canada and Abacus Data, 59% of Canadians already believe that electric cars will eventually be cheaper to own than internal combustion cars when all costs are considered. This belief is supported by studies that have shown that EVs can save drivers thousands of dollars compared to gas cars over the life of the vehicle.

In a press release, the government also announced several investments that should make it easier for residents to own electric cars.

  • Invested in 50,000 EV charging stations across the country for nearly 85,000 federally funded chargers across Canada by 2027. This is in addition to charging stations supported by provincial governments and the private sector.
  • A renewed program that provides up to CA$5,000 to Canadians and up to CA$10,000 to businesses towards the cost of purchasing or leasing a ZEV. More than 180,000 individuals and companies have taken advantage of this program to date.
  • Making historic investments in electric vehicle manufacturing in Canada, which means ZEVs can be built in Canada by Canadian auto workers and bought by Canadian drivers.

The Honorable Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra shared his thoughts on the proposed regulations.

“Helping Canadians transition to zero-emission vehicles is critical to our climate goals: it keeps our air clean and helps people save money while Canada leads the way in building cleaner vehicles. Today’s announcement is a key outcome of Canada’s Clean Roads Action Plan. These regulations will help ensure Canada can meet its ambitious ZEV sales targets, reduce road pollution and achieve net emissions by 2050, Alghabra said.

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Canada is taking its boldest stance yet on electric vehicles

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