Quebec has become the first Canadian province to join California and nine other U.S. states by adopting zero emission vehicle sales requirements.
The province’s Assemblée Nationale passed the regulation on Oct. 26 by a unanimous vote of 112 to 0. Canada’s plug-in electrified vehicle community cheered the decision.
Quebec’s new rules appear to be patterned on ZEV targets originally set in California. Beginning with the 2018 model year, automakers selling in Quebec will need to generate ZEV credits equivalent to 3.5 percent of their sales in Quebec, and that percentage will be quickly rising.
The end goal will be 15.5 percent of new vehicle sales meeting ZEV targets. There has been confusion over the deadline, with some government documents citing 2025 as the deadline for 15.5 percent of sales. Reuters reported a Minister of Environment spokesman stating 2020 will be the deadline year.
California’s Air Resources Board has set a target of 14.5 percent of sales being ZEVs in 2022.
It’s a tall order for Quebec to meet in the next couple of years. The 3.5 percent target for model year 2018 is nearly four times the current market share for all plug-in electrified vehicles in Quebec, which were 0.9 percent in the first eight months of the year for plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. Quebec is seeking to have 3.5 percent of vehicle sales come from all-electric vehicles.
The plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt was the top seller in Canada during the first six months of this year, followed by the all-electric Tesla Model S, according to FleetCarma.
Quebec’s bill may be amended in response to input including comments by automakers. Some car companies – including Ford, Nissan, and Kia – have been positive in their public responses.
Automakers will also be tapping into a ZEV credit system similar to the one used in California. The 3.5 percent benchmark is measured not on number of vehicles sold but on earned credits from all-electric and fuel cell vehicles sold. Some electric vehicles can earn more than one credit, and automakers can always trade credits for compliance as they do in California.
Another part of the ZEV system that automakers will watch is Quebec offering more credits for longer range ZEVs to be sold. The ZEV Act in Quebec also issues credits for qualifying ZEVs sold between 2014 and 2017, which can be applied against 2018 totals.
Automakers will also earn credits from used all-electric vehicles that are imported from the U.S. and resold in Quebec.