The federal government will act to impose targets on dealerships across Canada for electric vehicle sales starting in early 2023. Federal Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault wants to use quotas to help Canada catch up to a number countries which have taken the lead in this regard and which are sold far more electric vehicles in their territory than in Canada.
Similar quotas are already in place in Quebec (since 2018) and British Columbia (since 2020), but federal quotas would apply to car dealerships in all provinces.
Canada has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by 50% by 2030, eliminating them completely by 2035 and achieving zero emission country status by 2050. Currently, vehicles account for around 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, so they would play a key role in helping to achieve this goal. Canada also wants 50% of vehicle sales in the country to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, just eight years from now.
When we look at current electric vehicle sales in Canada, there is good news and bad news. According to the Canadian Press, Canadians have bought more electric vehicles in the past two years than in the previous eight years combined. But only 3% of vehicle purchases are all-electric or plug-in hybrid models.
In 2020, three quarters of new electric vehicles sold were sold in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. In other provinces, the demand is lower, but so is the supply. While this lack of supply is currently compounded by the continuing shortage of microchips, new federal quotas will force auto dealers to step up their game and make it easier for consumers to acquire an electric vehicle.
According to Minister Guilbeault, the quotas put in place by the governments of Quebec and British Columbia had a definite positive effect on supply at dealerships and increased sales of electric vehicles. He also believes that if Canada lags further behind other countries in the electrification of vehicle fleets, it will pay an economic as well as an ecological price.
Here are the percentages of EV sales in some industrialized countries, according to the Canadian Press:
Norway – 75 percent
Netherlands – 25 percent
Germany – 13.5%
France – 11.3 percent
United Kingdom – 11.3 percent
China – 5.7%
Canada – 3.5 percent
See also: Guide to the hybrid and electric car 2021: plug-in hybrids
See also: Guide to the hybrid and electric car 2021: all-electric vehicles
See also: The 17 Best All-Electric Vehicles in Canada in 2021: More Electric Vehicles Per Month
See also: Here are the top 10 least polluting new vehicles in Canada