Electric vehicle sales mandate critical to lowering emissions from transportationPembina Institute available for comment

Dec. 21, 2022

Photo: Pembina Institute

TORONTO, ON — Adam Thorn, Transportation Director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s announcement on new zero-emission vehicles regulations released today.

“We welcome the federal government’s announcement of a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales mandate. While a sales mandate has already been in place in some parts of the country, implementing a nationwide requirement that 20 per cent of vehicle sales be ZEVs by 2026, rising to 100 per cent of sales by 2035 is a game changer.

“We’ve seen the difference a ZEV sales mandate has made in British Columbia and Quebec where most of Canada’s zero-emission vehicles are purchased. With a federal mandate, all Canadians will benefit from a greater supply of electric passenger vehicles, lower sticker prices over time as manufacturing scales up, and no longer being tied to the volatility of gas prices at the pump. 

“Moreover, the sales mandate ensures market certainty meaning that building out charging infrastructure now comes with little risk, knowing that the number of electric vehicles on the road will increase significantly in the near future and that all new vehicle sales will be ZEVs by 2035.

“The Pembina Institute has long advocated for this policy. Transportation is the second highest generator of carbon emissions in Canada, second only to oil production. Between 2005 and 2019, total transportation emissions have risen by 14 per cent while automotive emissions alone have risen by 18 per cent. For Canada to meet its pledge to lower overall emissions by 40 to 45 per cent in less than 10 years, the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by the transport sector must be significantly reduced.

“We recognize, however, that the sales mandate is a supply-side regulation. Consumers will soon see cost parity between the purchase prices of electric and gas vehicles with ZEVs already cheaper to maintain over the lifetime of the vehicle.

“In the meantime — until parity is achieved — purchase incentives geared to household income could go a long way to help increase uptake and make clean passenger vehicle ownership viable at all income levels.”


Victoria Foote
Communications Director, Pembina Institute

Quick Facts

  • Canadians will experience the health benefits of clean air through the ZEV sales mandate due to substantially lowered pollution levels from tailpipe emissions. Air pollution in Canada contributes to more than 15,000 premature deaths annually.
  • The ZEV mandate can spur a transition to electric vehicle production in Canada, creating nearly 250,000 jobs by 2030 and reviving the auto industry.
  • New ZEV registrations comprised 6.9 per cent of new vehicles registered in the second quarter of 2022, an increase over 4.9 per cent a year earlier. 
  • Over the same time period, 10.5 per cent of new ZEV registrations in Canada were in Quebec. In British Columbia, 13.8 per cent of new vehicles registered in the second quarter of 2022 were ZEVs.
  • In the territories, EVs make up about 0.1 per cent of new vehicle sales.
  • The Yukon government established ZEV sales goals of 10 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030; this translates to getting 4,800 EVs on the road by 2030.



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