The Government of Canada announced on Friday that it will develop a national Zero-Emissions Vehicle Strategy by 2018.
Marc Garneau, the Minister of Transport, and Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said in a statement from Transport Canada that the federal government is moving forward with provincial and territorial partners, industry and stakeholders to develop a national strategy to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVS) on Canadian roads by 2018.
ZEVs include battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and offer the potential to “significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the light-duty vehicle sector,” the statement explained. Transportation accounts for about 24% of Canada’s emissions, mostly from cars and trucks.
Under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, federal, provincial and territorial governments committed to work with industry and stakeholders to develop a Canada-wide ZEV strategy by 2018. “This strategy will be ambitious and will build on existing initiatives, such as light-duty vehicle regulations, provincial ZEV programs, and Canadian innovation superclusters, to help meet our 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and realize our potential as a global leader in innovation and the clean economy,” the statement said.
To advance the strategy, a national advisory group has been established to contribute to developing options for addressing the key barriers for greater deployment of these technologies in five areas: vehicle supply, cost and benefits of ownership, infrastructure readiness, public awareness and clean growth and clean jobs. The advisory group includes representatives from governments, industry, consumer and non-government organizations and academia.
The statement noted that the federal government has “made an important start in supporting further deployment of ZEVs.” It has provided $62.5 million through Budget 2016 and an additional $120 million through Budget 2017 for Natural Resources Canada to deploy infrastructure for electric vehicle charging and refueling stations for alternative fuel, such as natural gas and hydrogen, as well as to support technology demonstration projects.
“We understand Canadians’ concerns about the environment and are developing an aggressive strategy to tackle climate change by taking actions to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution,” Garneau said in the statement.
Bains added that there is now an opportunity to have a “major impact” on the development of clean energy and clean transportation.
According to Transport Canada, in 2015, light-duty vehicle emissions accounted for approximately 50% of Canada’s transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, and 12% of the country’s total emissions. By contrast, battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles offer the potential for important reductions in light-duty vehicle emissions as they have very little or no tailpipe emissions compared with conventional vehicles.