Government finalizes rules forcing all new cars to be electric or hybrid by 2035

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OTTAWA – Canadian car dealers will have to sell a lot more electric vehicles under new regulations finalized on Tuesday.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault released the new rules at a press conference in Toronto. The rules also set targets for car makers, mandating that 20 per cent of their sales are electric or plug-in-hybrid vehicles vehicles by 2026, 60 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035. The rules apply to light-duty vehicles like cars and SUVs, as well as some pick-up trucks.

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Automakers who miss their targets will face financial penalties, but can avoid them by buying credits from other automakers. They can also receive credits for building electric vehicle chargers and can earn credits in advance of the new rules coming into place in 2026.

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Guilbeault announced the draft rules a year ago. He said by getting out ahead with early rules Canada will get more electric vehicles, eliminating some of the long delays consumers have faced.

“We will do this by ensuring more electric cars come to the Canadian market, instead of the US or other markets that have similar targets,” he said. “The new electric vehicle availability standard now includes an early credit system to help automakers comply by encouraging them to get more EVs on the market as early as possible and even next year, and to build more charging infrastructure.”

Even with rebates currently in place, electric vehicles are more expensive than gas-powered vehicles. Guilbeault said he expects them to reach price parity with gas vehicles by the end of this decade or early in the 2030’s. He said even now when maintenance and fuel costs are factored in, there is a cost savings to electric vehicles.

“The electricity you buy to power your electric vehicle is much cheaper than gasoline and not subject to the volatility of international oil prices and the maintenance cost of EVs are a fraction of internal combustion cars,” he said.

More to come … 

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