Pembina available for comment on proposed regulations for electric vehiclesNew regulations are pivotal to lowering GHGs

March 16, 2023

Electric vehicles at a charging station.

TORONTO, ON — March 16, 2023, marks the closing date for submitting comments on the Government of Canada’s proposed zero-emission vehicles regulations, first announced in December of last year.

The Pembina Institute has submitted four recommendations, the first being that the proposed sales mandate targets be firmly maintained. The sales requirement is applicable to auto manufacturers and importers and repeats the nationwide targets set out in Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP). In the ERP, the government put forward that, beginning with the 2026 model year, at least 60 per cent of new light-duty vehicle (LDVs) sales be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030 with a target of 100 per cent by 2035.

Endorsing this goal is critical to the successful and timely transition from gas-fueled to electric passenger cars and will give consumers more options in their vehicle purchases. Simply put, a sales mandate for LDVs is the single most effective policy tool to ensure a growing supply of electric cars on the Canadian market, which in turn will be the catalyst for lowering the retail purchase price and boosting consumer uptake.

Says Adam Thorn, Transportation Director with the Pembina Institute, “It cannot be overstated how important the LDV sales requirement is. In a sector of our economy that has weathered enormous job losses, this mandate will mean that as many as 50,000 workers will be able to either keep or gain employment. We’re experiencing the benefits already. Volkswagen just announced their intention to build a huge EV battery factory in St Thomas, Ontario, which was hit hard when the Ford plant closed. That’s a pretty clear signal that the market for electric vehicles is healthy and growing fast. If there’s ever a time to capitalize on the opportunity to increase the supply of EVs in Canada, it’s now.”

With transportation contributing the greatest share of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions after oil and gas, moving from internal combustion to zero-emission vehicles plays a pivotal role in reaching the federal government’s climate goals. Moreover, there are significant health implications in drastically removing pollutants from the atmosphere – air pollution in Canada contributes to more than 15,000 premature deaths annually.

Adam Thorn is available for comment on the proposed sales regulations for zero-emitting vehicles and the implications for the climate, the economy, and the workforce.  Please see our explainer on the proposed zero-emission vehicle sales mandate for more information about the new regulation. 



Victoria Foote
Communications Advisor, Pembina Institute

Quick Facts

  • The Canadian automotive manufacturing sector accounts for over 100,000 direct jobs. The total Canadian auto manufacturing GDP is about $16 billion.
  • Over the past two decades, nearly 47,000 jobs have been lost and auto sector GDP has declined more than 30%. Over the same period, Canada’s motor vehicle production dropped from over 2.5 million vehicles (4.5% global share) to about 1.4 million (1.8% of global share).
  • If Canada expands the light-duty electric vehicle market to 100% of total new light-duty vehicle sales by 2035, the potential direct, indirect and induced economic benefits associated with EV manufacturing and charger deployment are estimated to reach more than 50,000 jobs (saved or created) and over $5 billion in gross domestic product by 2035.
  • Canada can capitalize on the EV opportunity by harnessing its critical mineral and battery manufacturing supply chain. Canada ranks among the top10 producers of graphite, nickel, cobalt, and aluminum and has one of the largest identified lithium reserves.
  • Canada’s auto industry so far has failed to capitalise fully on this opportunity to produce EVs domestically. Of the total light-duty EVs sold in Canada in 2018, approximately 95% were produced elsewhere.



Our perspectives to your inbox.

The Pembina Institute endeavors to maintain your privacy and protect the confidentiality of any personal information that you may give us. We do not sell, share, rent or otherwise disseminate personal information. Read our full privacy policy.