Essentially following California’s ZEV (zero emission vehicle) mandate, a Quebec, Canada National Assembly bill would force automakers to sell electric vehicles in the province.

Expected to be approved in the next few weeks, the new law would require 3.5 percent of an automaker’s models be powered by electricity, either by a battery or a fuel cell.

More specifically, eligible ZEVs include all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and percentage would increase to 15.5 percent of sales by 2020.

The bill has been championed by Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel. It seeks to “stimulate” the ZEV supply, giving Quebec consumers access to a greater number and a wider variety of plug-in vehicles, Automotive News Canada reported yesterday.

Following the adoption of the bill, Quebec would become the first Canadian province to implement a ZEV mandate.

Subjected to the mandate are automakers that sell more than 4,500 vehicles per year in Quebec, which accounts for 99 percent of the province’s new car market.

SEE ALSO: California Bill Calls for 15 Percent of All Vehicles Sold to be Emissions-Free by 2025

Car companies that sell fewer than 4,500 vehicles will not be subject to the ZEV mandate, but can acquire and sell credits to other carmakers.

In statements issued to Automotive News Canada, automakers supported Quebec’s initiative.

By announcing the ZEV mandate now and starting the percentage at 3.5, Heurtel said the government is giving manufacturers time to adapt and to prepare for the change.

Exploiting advantages in electric vehicle technologies will grow the economy “and achieve our objectives in the fight against climate change,” Heurtel said.

“We are on the road to the new 21st century economy, a prosperous lower-carbon economy, and the vehicles that will get us there will be zero-emission vehicles,” said Heurtel.

Automotive News Canada