In a significant move, the Canadian government has officially unveiled its comprehensive Electric Vehicle Availability Standard, aimed at accelerating the adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) across the nation. Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, made the announcement, highlighting the government’s commitment to achieving 100% ZEV sales by 2035.
The new standard mandates annual increases in the proportion of new zero-emission light-duty vehicles, including passenger cars, SUVs, and light trucks. It sets ambitious interim targets of at least 20% ZEV sales by 2026 and at least 60% by 2030. These targets are designed to not only reduce customer wait times but also ensure Canadians have access to the latest and most advanced electric vehicles hitting the market.
To support this transition, the Government of Canada is investing $1.2 billion to deploy 84,500 chargers nationwide by 2029. This initiative adds to ongoing efforts by businesses and other levels of government to expand the charging infrastructure across the country.
Notably, the switch to electric vehicles is not only economically sensible but also environmentally crucial. Health Canada’s analysis reveals that emissions from traditional vehicles contribute to an estimated 1,200 premature deaths annually, with associated economic costs reaching $9.5 billion. The move to electric vehicles is expected to significantly reduce harmful air pollution, particularly benefiting the 40% of Canadians living near busy roads and highways.
“Many Canadians are increasingly eager to make the switch to cleaner transportation since it’s a win-win-win in savings, their health, and the environment. Putting in place an Electric Vehicle Availability Standard fulfils a major climate commitment from our climate plan. Getting more electric vehicles on the road is another example of how we are taking climate action while helping make life more affordable. And our investments to position Canada as a significant player in the global electric vehicle manufacturing and battery supply chain shows how we are taking advantage of the economic opportunities provided by the emerging low-carbon economy.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change