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Jon LeSage

Jon LeSage

Jon LeSage is a California-based journalist covering clean vehicles, alternative energy, and economic and regulatory trends shaping the automotive, transportation, and mobility sectors.

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Canada Pushes For Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy


On Friday, Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport and Navdeep Bains,Manage Articles Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced that the government is now creating a national strategy to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVS) on Canadian roads by 2018. Partners include provinces and territories, industry, consumer and non-government organizations, and academia.

Qualifying ZEVs include battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles.

Canada sees a two-fold benefit in going this route, supporting emissions reductions and economic gains. The policy points to greenhouse gas reductions being supported with transportation making up 24 percent of carbon emissions in Canada. On the economic front, it’s seen as a way of creating more high paying middle-class jobs to manufacture, market, and support more ZEVs in country.

Those participating in the national Advisory Group will look into critical issues in five key areas: vehicle supply, cost and benefits of ownership, infrastructure readiness, public awareness, and clean growth and clean jobs. It’s also influenced by the previously adopted Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change aimed at hitting national targets for overall 2030 emissions reductions.

Related: Europe Joins Race For Cheaper Batteries With New Gigafactory

The national government would like to coordinate several projects being carried out at the province level. Quebec has played a leading role, hosting the international Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS29) in Montreal last year. Garneau and Bains made the announcement at an electric vehicle show in Montreal last week.

The province of Quebec, and Canada overall, have been influenced by California’s zero emission vehicle policy tied into hitting greenhouse gas emissions reductions in part through the state’s low carbon fuel standard. That guideline is based on reducing carbon emissions in vehicles 10 percent by a given timeline. It’s considered to be technology and fuel neutral, allowing stakeholders to choose their own alternative fuels to meet the requirement. Electric vehicles have been the leading technology in California to meet mandates on emissions reductions.

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

Quebec has also reviewed the state’s ZEV policies to examine a mandatory ZEV sales level for automakers to reach.

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The national government may adopt a rule that automakers will have to meet vehicle sales requirements, such as requiring that 10 percent of all sales are ZEVs by a certain date. China has also been considering following California’s lead on that type of rule.

Other measures may include incentives for purchasing ZEVs. The Canadian government has already been funding installations of more electric vehicle chargers and refueling stations for alternative fuels such as hydrogen and natural gas.

Whatever technology or fuel wins out, the government wants to facilitate more ease of use for Canadians to drive farther in their ZEVs.

“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.

By Jon LeSage for Oilprice.com

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