OTTAWA, ON (December 20, 2023): With just a handful of days left in 2023, the government couldn’t help but introduce one more unrealistic and counterproductive climate policy. Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, just announced an electric vehicle mandate that will restrict and then prohibit the sale of non-ZEV (zero-emissions vehicles) by 2035.
The Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s Director of Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment, Heather Exner-Pirot, said of the government’s new mandates: “Of all the Soviet-style, top-down, market-defying policies they have implemented this year, this may be the most egregious.”
What’s so terrible about the new regulations?
For starters, they explicitly privilege EV technology but disregard broader environmental considerations. An electric vehicle like the Ford F-150 Lightning will still be able to be sold in Canada in 2035, but a Honda Civic with an internal combustion engine will be banned – this fails to consider the life-cycle emissions (total emissions of a given product throughout production, use, and disposal) of the two vehicles.
The new regulations also ignore the reality that many Canadians (renters, those living in apartment buildings/condos or in rural areas) won’t likely be able to charge at home. There are massive logistical and cost barriers to the adoption of EVs for many (if not most) Canadians.
Living up north where extreme cold can affect the performance of EV batteries? The Government acknowledges your concern but is blindly confident that the technology will get better (so stop whining and get on board…).
Finally, the government’s new regulations ignore the need for coordination between the provinces and between Canada and the US.
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