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Press release  •  1 min

Équiterre delighted that Canada finally has a ZEV Standard

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Montreal, December 21, 2022 - Équiterre is pleased with the federal government's announcement of the imminent publication of a zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standard, a proposed regulation that the organization and its partners have been advocating for several years.

"While the demand for electric vehicles is already very high in Canada, the ZEV standard will help reduce wait times and give new impetus to the electrification of Canada’s fleet of vehicles." -Andréanne Brazeau, Équiterre’s Mobility Analyst.

Canada has a lot of catching up to do with regards to decarbonizing light-duty vehicles, and there are some major disparities between provinces. Considering that Canada’s fleet of vehicles is at the top of the list of the most polluting fleets in the world, largely because of the size of the vehicles, there is much work to be done to achieve the country’s climate and electrification targets.

"This is a game-changing policy that can make ZEVs more accessible, both in terms of availability and affordability across the country. If the government implements it rigorously, the auto industry will finally have to stop delaying the transition to zero emission vehicles and accelerate their production," adds the expert.

The details of the regulation are crucial

"The devil is in the details. A strong ZEV standard would ensure a more equitable distribution, a greater variety of models and a higher number of electric vehicles available across Canada," says Brazeau.

In the coming months, the federal government will be hosting consultations to improve the ZEV standard. Three highlights for Équiterre:

  1. The ZEV standard is aligned with Canada’s ZEV sales targets and its interim targets; 20% in 2026, 60% in 2030 and 100% in 2035.
  2. Companies will be able to invest in charging infrastructure at a rate of $20,000 per missing credit in the upcoming system, an amount that will have to keep up with inflation. It’s a very interesting type of "penalty" that will make the standard even more effective.
  3. The regulations appear to be on track to phase out plug-in hybrids.

While this new regulation will play a central role in accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, the decarbonization of the transportation sector must first and foremost focus on reducing the number and the size of vehicles on our roads, by among other things, developing public and active transportation.

For more information:

Briefing note

Report: Profiting from Pollution

Report: Policy Pathways to 100% Zero-Emission Vehicles by 2035 in Canada

Brief: Achieving A Zero-Emission Future For Light-Duty Vehicles


For more information: