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Canada’s zero emission vehicle ambition announced

Canada has tightened the target for zero emission vehicles. Time to go electric?

Tesla EV at a showroom in London. Image by Tim Sandle.
Tesla EV at a showroom in London. Image by Tim Sandle.

The government of Canada has announced that they are setting a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales to be zero-emission by 2035. This decision is an acceleration of Canada’s previous goal of 100 percent sales by 2040.

Canada’s Transport Minister Omar Alghabra indicates that the 2035 date is in tune with the world’s leading industrialized nations. For example, the Paris-based International Energy Agency is aiming for nearly all new light-duty vehicle sales to be electric to achieve net-zero emissions by the mid-century.

Alghabra adds that the Canadian government will work with partners in order to develop interim 2025 and 2030 targets. This will extend to additional mandatory measures that will probably be needed beyond Canada’s light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions regulations.

In terms of the environmental impact, data suggests that carbon emissions of an electric car are around 17 – 30 percent lower compared with driving a petrol or diesel car, in a typical city and at average speed.

In terms of industry comments, ChargePoint, a major electric vehicle (EV) charging network has said that it welcomes this decision. ChargePoint designs, develops, and manufactures hardware and software solutions.

Spokesperson Suzanne Goldberg, Director of Public Policy, tells Digital Journal that this is a decision made in the right direction.

She states: “Canada joins leading jurisdictions, like Quebec and California, in setting ambitious targets for the transition to 100 percent zero emissions passenger vehicles by 2035.”

This matters given the number of vehicles and the vast size of Canada which results in many long drives. Goldberg explains: “As the second largest source of Canada’s emissions, the transition to zero emissions vehicles will be critical to Canada’s recently increased 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target and its net zero goal.”

And as to why the revised target matters, Goldberg surmises: “This revised target, which increases Canada’s zero emission vehicle ambition, sends a strong signal to the market that demand for zero emissions vehicles, infrastructure and related services will grow over the next decade.”

And in relation to the services proffered by her own business, Goldberg says: “ChargePoint looks forward to continued collaboration with the Government of Canada and with our network partners to support Canadian businesses scale-up to meet this demand.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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