2023 Draft ZEV Regulations

Canada's Draft Zero-Emission Vehicle Regulations

The government of Canada has released Draft Zero Emission Vehicle Regulations (“Draft ZEV Regs”).  If these draft regulations are made into law, they will create sales quotas for ZEVs.  Each year a certain, and increasing, percentage of all the cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks (collectively called “light duty vehicles”) that each automaker in Canada sells would have to be ZEVs.

Over time, this would result in ZEVs replacing internal combustion engine (“ICE”) vehicles.  The Draft ZEV Regs call for 100% of light duty vehicle sales to be ZEVS in 2035.

Quebec, British Columbia, and California already have similar ZEV regulations in force.  Far more ZEVs are sold in those jurisdictions than in jurisdictions without such regulations.

When the Draft ZEV Regs were released, the government also commenced a public consultation process by which regular citizens, just like you, can tell the government what you think of the Draft ZEV Regs.

The Draft ZEV Regs need to be improved before they become law.  Right now, the sales quotas are too lenient and they increase too slowly.  The Draft ZEV Regs are also too lenient in the breaks they offer to automakers who don’t achieve their quotas.

The deadline for members of the public and grassroots ENGOs to make submissions is 16 March 2023.

It is very important that you, and many other people like you, take a bit of time to learn about the Draft ZEV Regs and provide your comments on them, because most of the automakers have opposed, and continue to oppose, the Draft ZEV Regs.  They would like to see ZEV sales quotas eliminated entirely.  If they cannot achieve that, they  want to delay them and water down their effectiveness.

Too often, climate activists hear that a policy has been introduced, assume they have achieved a victory, and move on without looking at the details.  However, the industry and their lobbyists (in this case the automakers and their various associations) stick around until the bitter end, and often succeed in making the policies more lenient and therefore less effective, as well as slowing down their final implementation.

Simply submitting a comment telling the government that you approve of passing the Draft ZEV Regs into law as soon as possible is useful to help counter the excessive influence of the automakers.  Of course, the more time and attention you want to put into your submissions, the better.

We believe that Canada also needs other policies to reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector, such as more public transit and more walkable cities.  However, the Draft ZEV Regs is what the government is working on right now, and right now is the time for us to improve them.

This Toolkit will provide some additional information on the Draft ZEV Regs.  It will also suggest some of the features that you may want to tell the government to improve and also some features that you may want to tell the government you approve of.