Sales Must Double by 2026: Electric Vehicle Mandate Announcement Expected Tuesday

Canadian auto manufacturers have made remarkable strides in the electric vehicle (EV) market this year, breaking records for sales. However, the need to nearly double these sales within three years looms large due to a newly established national mandate.

The mandate calls for an incremental rise in EV sales, escalating to 60% by 2030 and ultimately reaching 100% by 2035. This regulation, anticipated to be officially released by the week’s end, follows rigorous consultations and feedback from the public, industries, and environmental stakeholders.

Statistics Canada’s recent data underscored that in the first nine months of 2023, 132,783 new battery-electric or plug-in-hybrid vehicles were sold in Canada, constituting 10.3% of the total new registrations. Although a record-breaking figure, it falls short of the required numbers for 2026.

Despite the increasing EV sales trend since 2020, the upcoming mandate challenges manufacturers to meet the set targets. The impending regulations will bind manufacturers to demonstrate a minimum percentage of EVs in their Canadian offerings.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is slated to unveil the final regulations for Canada’s first-ever national electric vehicle mandate on Tuesday, building on targets established a year ago. These targets aim for 20% of passenger vehicles sold to be zero-emission vehicles by 2026.

The proposed regulations suggest assigning credits to electric vehicles based on factors like battery range. Meanwhile, plug-in hybrids will receive varying credits, depending on their range, with stricter criteria after 2026.

The government aims to increase EV availability and affordability through this mandate. Despite concerns about the initial cost of EVs, studies show that the cost difference is recouped within a year due to savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, coupled with reduced maintenance expenses.

However, industry voices advocate for larger EV purchase rebates and a substantial expansion of vehicle charging infrastructure to foster consumer confidence in EV adoption.

Quebec and British Columbia, already implementing EV sales mandates, have surged ahead in EV sales compared to other provinces. These two provinces, accounting for two-thirds of EV sales nationwide this year, have significantly exceeded the 20% target for EV sales, leaving Ontario, at eight percent, trailing behind.

The national mandate focuses on total vehicle sales nationally, setting an ambitious trajectory for Canada’s transition toward electric vehicles.

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