New incentives from Transport Canada a win for climateFinancial incentives will encourage purchase of zero-emission vehicles but more needs to be done to ensure equity concerns are addressed

July 13, 2022

Heavy-duty truck on the highway

Photo: Roberta Franchuk, Pembina Institute

TORONTO — Adam Thorn, Transportation Director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the announcement of the federal government’s new incentive program for medium and heavy-duty vehicles:

The Pembina Institute welcomes the first nation-wide incentive program for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs). However, Transport Canada should earmark a portion of the incentive for businesses and municipalities working with and in underserved communities.

Transportation accounts for a quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions from MHDVs are expected to surpass passenger vehicles by 2030.

Zero-emission vehicles are more expensive to lease or purchase today than internal combustion vehicles, so an incentive program that bridges the gap in the near-term is important for businesses across Canada.   

While many of the recommendations that the Pembina Institute and others requested were incorporated into the program already, as details emerge in the coming days, we will be watching for further details that can address transparency and equity concerns from fleets:

  • Work with fleets and businesses to update the list of eligible vehicles on a frequent basis to ensure Canadian companies can access the vehicles they need. 
  • Enhance data collection and publicly report the effectiveness of the program in accelerating zero-emission MHDV adoption.
  • Earmark a portion of the funding for small trucking fleets, which may not have the capacity to handle a first-come, first-serve system, as well as organizations that provide valuable services to traditionally underserved communities.  
  • Initiate extensive, multi-lingual outreach campaigns to fleets as well as vendors and manufacturers in and outside of Canada.



Kendall Anderson
Senior Communications Lead, Communities and Decarbonization


Government submission: Incentives for Medium-and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicles Program


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