Over the past few years, a number of regions, countries, and U.S. states have proposed or enacted some sort of zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate, a list that includes the UK, the entirety of Europe, New Jersey, New York, and California, to name just a few. Under some of these proposed rules, plug-in hybrids would still be allowed to be sold, however. Meanwhile, Canada has long been headed in the same direction, seeking a transition to zero-emissions vehicles even though at least one recent survey found that most citizens of that country aren’t interested in EVs and Ford Canada CEO Bev Goodman recently noted that her country is out of early adopters, though most Blue Oval dealerships in that country signed up for the EV-focused Model E Certified program. Regardless, Canada is moving forward and has now announced the details of its new 2035 ZEV mandate.
Officially known as the Electric Vehicle Availability Standard, this new mandate builds upon the country’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan by implementing stair-step goals for emissions reduction. Automotive manufacturers and importers must meet annual ZEV regulated sales targets, which are slated to begin with the 2026 model year, requiring that at least 20 percent of new light-duty vehicles offered for sale in that year be ZEVs. The requirements increase annually to 60 percent by 2030, and will reach 100 percent in 2035.
In this case, Canada defines a ZEV as “battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) fueled only with electricity; fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) that operate using hydrogen; and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that can run exclusively on electricity for a specified minimum distance before they transition to operating as hybrid vehicles, using both liquid fuels and electricity.” However, manufacturers have the option to exclude emergency vehicles from these targets.
According to Canadian officials, traditional ICE vehicles account for about half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, while that same sector accounts for about 25 percent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The purpose of this mandate – aside from decreasing emissions – is to ensure that the ZEV supply keeps up with consumer demand, according to officials, as well as increase the supply of new and used ZEVs, enhance choice, and reduce wait times.