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New Gas-Powered Cars Are Set To Be Banned In Canada & Here’s Everything We Know So Far

The Canadian car industry is going to change drastically. The federal government is planning to ban the sales of new gas-powered cars. This is part of its goal to fight climate change and reduce pollution. This plan began in June 2021, when the government created a mandatory target. By 2035, all new sales of new light-duty passenger trucks and cars will be zero-emission. At first, this goal was for 2040. Then they shortened it by five years to “take another important step on the road to net zero” emissions by 2050. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this on Twitter. “By 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks that are sold must be zero-emission. That’s how we’ll build a cleaner, stronger economy that both creates good jobs and cuts down pollution.”

Read: France Will Require Car Ads to Tell People to Walk or Bike Instead

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Selling Only Zero-Emission Cars by 2035

The new release statement in 2021 explained that Canada’s efforts to cut pollution will include the “transportation sector, which accounts for one-quarter of our greenhouse gas emissions”. To achieve this, the government plans on using “investments and regulations to help Canadians and industry transition”. At the time, existing measures were already in place to support this from incentives to help with the costs of zero-emission vehicles, to investing in infrastructure to support them, and teaming up with auto manufacturers to re-tool and make such vehicles in the country. [1]

Last year, Canada’s then-Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson declared that reducing emissions from transportation vehicles. This “is one of the most readily achievable and economically beneficial paths Canada can take on the road to net-zero emissions by 2050″

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He added, “We are committed to aligning Canada’s zero-emission vehicles sales targets with those of the most ambitious North American jurisdictions. We will work with the United States to harmonize fuel efficiency regulations and we’re investing in consumer rebates, charging stations, business tax breaks and industry transition costs.

Although the ban comes five years earlier, the changes won’t happen all at once. Before officiating the mandate, the government has to ensure the 2030 target of at least 50% of cars sold are zero-emission. Because light-duty vehicles serve for about 15 years, this can help confirm the goal of 100% of zero-emission vehicles by 2050. However, it’s unclear if the ban will include private sales of gas-powered cars; nevertheless, it will make buying one from a dealership or showroom much more difficult. The feds hope that this challenge will encourage citizens to choose more environmentally-friendly vehicles, like electric cars. 

Read: This electric car built by Dutch students is made entirely of waste — even the chassis

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Reducing Emissions from Cars

Cars aside, medium and heavy-duty vehicles need to reduce emissions as well. This involves buses, trucks, utility vans, long-haul tractor-trailers, etc. For these, the government has set a goal of 100% of their sales being zero-emission.

As mentioned before, the government has made investments and regulations to make these cars more affordable to Canadian citizens. For instance, these incentives can help with the upfront cost of more environmentally-friendly cars, as well as infrastructure to aid this effort, and help manufacturers produce these vehicles. As far as the expense costs go, the government predicts that in 2030 “zero-emission vehicles will reach price-parity with their gas-powered counterparts. As the sale and production of zero emission personal vehicles increases, upfront prices will fall.

They add that “additional mandatory measures that may be needed beyond Canada’s light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions regulations.” [2]

Keith Brooks, programs director at advocacy group Environmental Defence, supports this ban. He said, “Canada cannot reach our greenhouse gas targets if emissions from cars, SUVs and pickups, which are currently growing, are not curtailed”. According to Brooks in 2021, only 3.5% of cars sold in Canada are electric, adding that the government needs to increase their efforts to support the zero-emissions vehicles market. [3]

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The Future for Canadian Vehicles

However, like most plans, there may be some flaws. For instance, major infrastructure will have to be ready. To compare, there are about 12,000 gas stations in Canada and only 6,800 charging stations — which only have two or three ports with about a 20–40 minutes recharge per car. Plus, citizens in condos and apartments may have difficulty rigging up their cars to charge the block heater; there’s only so long the cord can go. Additionally, Canada would need to increase electricity production to support all of these cars.

But these changes are necessary, ban or no ban since the sales of electric vehicles are on the rise. And many car manufacturers were already under the impression that this is the future direction of their industry. However, gas-powered vehicles stick around longer than assumed because of their increasingly longer lifespans. So it remains to be seen when Canadian roads would be filled with primarily zero-emission cars. [4]

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Sources

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  1. “Building a green economy: Government of Canada to require 100% of car and passenger truck sales be zero-emission by 2035 in Canada.Transport Canada. June 29, 2021
  2. “New Gas-Powered Cars Are Set To Be Banned In Canada & Here’s Everything We Know So Far”. Narcity. Helena Hanson. April 3, 2022
  3. “Canada to ban sale of new fuel-powered cars and light trucks from 2035.” Reuters. Steve Schere. June 29, 2021
  4. “The unintended consequences of banning gas-powered cars by 2035.Driving. Tristan Hopper. April 4, 2022
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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