Canada Aiming For National Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy By 2018

The Canadian government on Friday committed to develop a national strategy to bring about more zero-emission vehicles by 2018.

Ministers of the Transport and Innovation, Science and Economic Development agencies will work provinces, territories, industry, consumer and non-government organizations, and academia, to forge a national policy. The national Advisory Group will look into addressing barriers in five key areas: vehicle supply, cost and benefits of ownership, infrastructure readiness, public awareness, and clean growth and clean jobs.

ZEVs include battery, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles across the vehicle weight classes, with an emphasis on light-duty vehicles.

The government sees it as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with transportation making up 24 percent of carbon emissions in Canada, mostly from cars and trucks. It’s also a way to support the nation’s economy through creation of high quality middle-class jobs involved with bringing more ZEVs to Canada.

It ties into the previously adopted Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Under that campaign, federal, provincial, and territorial governments were directed to work with industry and stakeholders to develop a Canada-wide ZEV strategy by 2018. Those working on the ZEV policies will review existing vehicle regulation and provincial ZEV programs to assist in meeting the country’s overall 2030 emissions reduction target.

“We understand Canadians’ concerns about the environment and are developing an aggressive strategy to tackle climate change by taking actions to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution. By putting more zero emission vehicles on the road, we are investing in the future of cleaner transportation for all Canadians,” said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport.

The national strategy also ties in closely with California’s policies to reduce emissions by bringing more ZEVs to its roads. The province of Quebec reviewed the state’s ZEV policies to examine a mandatory ZEV sales level for automakers to reach.

In late November, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna announced that the country will adopt a national clean fuels standard. The national standard looked at adoption of similar guidelines in California, Oregon, and British Columbia, according to a report.

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The national government had already committed to make investments in charging stations and alternative fueling infrastructure. In the 2016 budget, 62.5 million in Canadian dollars ($46.4 million) and $120 million Canadian ($89.2 million) in 2017 were set aside for deploying EV charging and refueling stations for fuels such as hydrogen and natural gas. Funds were also directed at technology demonstration projects.

Canada’s investment was directed by the idea of making it easier for Canadians to drive ZEVs farther, and make their own contributions to the climate change challenge.

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