Feds lay out plans to reduce transport emissions

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by Emily Atkins


The federal government has released its plan for reducing emissions from road transportation.

Canada’s Action Plan for Clean On-Road Transportation is the strategy to help Canadians and Canadian businesses make the switch to zero-emission vehicles and reduce pollution from on-road transportation. It outlines the government plan to reduce emissions from on-road transportation, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The plan will set annually increasing requirements towards achieving 100 percent light-duty zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035, including mandatory targets of at least 20 percent of all new light-duty vehicle sales by 2026, and at least 60 percent by 2030.

The aim is for 35 percent of new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030. In addition, the Government will develop a medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle regulation to require 100 percent of new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2040 for a subset of vehicle types.

This will be based on a feasibility study, with interim 2030 regulated sales requirements that would vary for different vehicle categories. Interim targets for the mid-2020s will be explored.

The government says its actions towards zero-emission vehicles will continue evolving over time, following future assessments and feedback from Canadians.

“Our government has laid out the roadmap to help Canadians more easily and more affordably make the switch to electric vehicles. There’s no doubt we’ve reached the tipping point on electric vehicles: in the last two years we’ve almost doubled the amount of zero emissions vehicles sold,” said Steven Guilbeault, minister of environment and climate change.

“When you compare the low charging cost for an EV with the rollercoaster high cost of gasoline, it’s no wonder a vast majority of Canadians say they are open to buying an electric car. Our government’s strategy, including regulated sales targets, will make electric vehicles more accessible and reduce our dependence on the fossil fuel emissions causing climate change.”

The transportation sector is Canada’s second-largest source of pollution. Moving to zero-emission vehicles through regulations and investments is a significant part of Canada’s $9.1 billion Emissions Reduction Plan to meet Canada’s Paris Agreement target for 2030 and get on track for net-zero emissions by 2050.

The new Incentives for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles (iMHZEV) Program was launched in July 2022. This four-year, close to $550 million program, will help businesses and communities across the country make the switch to zero-emission commercial vehicles.