Canadians have clearly stated that they want a healthy economy, clean air, and good jobs. Since 2015, the Canadian government has taken the lead in the battle against climate change and made more progress toward creating a sustainable economy than any other government in history. The 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, which puts Canada on a course to achieve at least a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030, is made up in large part of the proposed rules, which aid in reducing emissions from our transportation.
The government made the proposed regulations public on December 21, 2022, and a formal 75-day consultation process will begin after they are published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on December 31, 2022.
Opinions Before Decisions
The Canadian government consulted with stakeholders in March to get their opinions on encouraging the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the light-duty vehicle sector. All parties agreed that maintaining compliance with US greenhouse gas standards is crucial for cutting vehicle emissions of greenhouse gasses while maintaining the industry’s competitiveness.
Some believed that a standard strategy for zero-emission vehicles would be necessary to bring about revolutionary change, generate the market certainty required to speed up the transition to zero-emission vehicles, and make the decisions and long-term investments required (including electricity generation and distributors).
More people had differing views on the adoption of a zero-emission vehicle standard, with most automakers opposing it and non-governmental groups firmly in support, emphasizing how it can spur electrification while sending a powerful long-term investment signal.
“Zero-emission vehicles are where the rubber hits the road for cost-conscious Canadians who want to help the environment while getting off the roller-coaster of high gasoline prices,” Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, said.
All businesses that produce in Canada or import into Canada to sell automobiles to the initial retail buyer would be subject to the proposed regulations. They will only apply to new passenger cars, SUVs, and pickup truck makers and importers; they do not apply to emergency and fire-fighting vehicles.
The evidence from other nations and from states like British Columbia and Quebec, as well as from other provinces, is abundant and unmistakable: when paired with supportive investments, a regulated zero-emission vehicle sales target expands consumer choice and hastens the move away from internal combustion engine vehicles. Because of this, the Canadian government is also expanding financial assistance for buying ZEVs, investing in charging stations, and assisting in the establishment of a Canadian battery supply chain that incorporates essential minerals and manufacturing.
The Incredible ZEVs
The term “zero-emission vehicle” (ZEV) refers to a variety of vehicles, including battery-electric vehicles that run solely on electricity, fuel-cell electric vehicles that run on hydrogen, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that can run exclusively on electricity for a set minimum distance before switching to hybrid operation, which uses both electricity and liquid fuels.
Because they allow for some electricity use while keeping the use of fossil fuels when necessary, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are likely to play a significant role in northern and rural regions shortly.
Pickup trucks, SUVs, and hatchbacks with two- and four-wheel drive are all currently offered as ZEVs, and more will be in the following few years. Even in extremely cold temperatures, electric cars can be driven. Cold-weather nations like Norway, where over 70% of new car sales are ZEVs, are a common place for ZEVs.