The Quebec government of Liberal Philippe Couillard has introduced a bill to the National Assembly to force car manufacturers to offer a minimum number of zero-emission vehicles for sale or lease.
The legislation aims to increase uptake in sales of electric vehicles and other types of cars that produce zero emissions at the tailpipe such as the Toyota Mirai, which runs on hydrogen.
Hearings are to begin in the autumn, and if passed, the bill would set a quota requiring that 15.5 percent of all cars sold in the province by 2025 be zero-emission vehicles. The law would only affect firms that sell over 5,000 cars a year.
Companies would receive credits for each clean vehicle sold or leased, or could purchase credits from other manufacturers. Those without sufficient credits would face a fine.
Quebec would be the first jurisdiction in the country to adopt such an approach, known as a zero-emissions vehicle mandate, or just ZEV mandate. It is based on California’s quota legislation, which is set at 15 percent. Introduced in 1990, it has so far resulted in an uptake of three percent of all new vehicles sold being plug-in electric (meaning both plug-in hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles) as of last year.
Ontario on Wednesday formally unveiled its climate and energy strategy after months of speculation and leaks in the press. The province decided against opting for a ZEV mandate, and instead will continue to offer rebates of up to $14,000 for electric vehicles and $1,000 for households that install a home charging station. From 2017, it will offer free overnight charging for residential customers for four years
Ontario is also to offer incentives for low and middle-income households to scrap their old cars and replace them with new or used electric vehicles. Queen’s Park hopes to see five percent of all new car sales by 2020 be electric or hydrogen-powered, compared to the current figure of less than one half of one percent.
Meanwhile Norway, the jurisdiction with the highest penetration of electric cars at 23 percent of all new sales as of last year, according to the International Energy Association, opted for a policy mix of rebates, build-out of nationwide charging infrastructure, and perks including free charging, access to bus lanes, free parking and free ferries.
Canadian and Quebec automotive trade associations criticised Quebec’s move, saying that the province’s clean-vehicle sales already out-do those in US northeastern states with ZEV mandates, and that policy-makers should focus on increasing consumer demand via vehicle scrapping incentives rather than legislating manufacturer supply.
The Climate Examiner speaks to BC-based Carbon Engineering about the technology, the business and the policies that could make direct air capture, synfuels and carbon sequestration work.