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The Canadian Government Is Investing in Effort to Get more EVs on the Road

The government wants 20 percent of new vehicles sold in Canada to be "zero emission" by 2026 Automotive columnist: , Updated:

The Canadian government wants to see a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road. To help achieve that, it has announced a series of measures, which have been generally well received by all those who want to see concrete action on climate change.

20 percent by 2026
The first important measure concerns the number of electric vehicles sold. Specifically, it is stipulated that 20 percent of new models put on sale by 2026 must be all-electric (or zero-emission). This is all part of Canada's plan to meet its previously laid-out 2030 emissions-reduction targets (40 percent below 2005 levels), and its goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

The plan, which was presented to Parliament yesterday by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, promises $9.1 billion in new investments to reduce pollution and stimulate the economy. The announcements are not just for the auto industry, but we’ll focus here on those components that directly affect the industry.

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$500 million on infrastructure, $400 million on charging stations
For example, in addition to that 20 percent target for EV sales by 2026 (which climbs to 60 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035), $500 million will be spent on charging infrastructure through the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). The government will provide an additional $400 million for the construction of charging stations. The goal is to add 50,000 units to the current network.

Within the plan, $1.7 billion will be used to expand (and extend for three years) the iZEV (Incentive for Zero Emission Vehicles) program, which currently provides a $5,000 rebate on the purchase of an eligible electric vehicle. It should be noted that Quebec has just made some adjustments to its Go Green program, but that it remains in effect until 2027.

At the heart of all of this is of course the desire to improve the accessibility of electric vehicles for Canadian consumers who wish to purchase one. At the moment, waiting times for new EVs, which can be as long as two or three years, border on the ridiculous.

There is also some disagreement among manufacturers on how to proceed and what is the right way to proceed. In short, nothing is simple and stakeholders are, naturally enough, protecting their interests. What is clear is that action must be taken, and these are concrete steps the government is now taking.