Québec Adopts Zero-Emissions Vehicle Mandate

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【Summary】This month, Québec became the first Canadian province to adopt a ZEV mandate to reduce vehicle emissions.

Mia Bevacqua    Mar 05, 2018 12:10 PM PT
Québec Adopts Zero-Emissions Vehicle Mandate

When it comes to reducing vehicle emissions, the United States is taking steps backward, while Canada is pushing forward. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Québec, which just became the first Canadian province to adopt a zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate.

Guiding automakers towards ZEVs

Minister of Sustainable Development, Isabelle Melancon, recently issued final regulations in support of Bill 104. The Act is designed to increase the number of ZEVs in Québec to reduce emissions. Currently, almost half the ZEV vehicles in Canada are located in Québec. The province also has the largest charging station network.

Back in 2016, Canada's National Assembly unanimously agreed on the Act to increase the number of ZEVs. The assembly was following the example of California and nine other US states.

On January 11th of this year, Québec's ZEV mandate became official. It requires automakers to accumulate credits by producing zero, or low emissions vehicles. How many vehicles a manufacturer sells in Québec determines the number of credits required. As a result, the credit needs vary between automakers.

A vehicle's credit worth depends on its electric range. So, a plug-in hybrid with an electric range of a few miles won't be worth as much as a pure EV with a 200-mile range. This allows the manufacturer to sell a limited number of EVs and still earn substantial credits. It also promotes the development of pure-electric vehicles.

Québec's zero-emissions future 

Québec will start doling out credits for the 2018 model year. By 2025, the Canadian government predicts zero and low emissions vehicles will account for 10% of the market. 

Starting in 2020, automakers that sell more than 20,000 vehicles a year in Québec must earn a specific number of credits derived solely from ZEVs. If this quota isn't met, the manufacturer will be required to purchase credits from other companies with excess credits, or pay the government a fee. The government will use this money to support climate change projects.

Currently, 41% of Québec's emissions come from greenhouse gas emissions. With the new ZEV mandate in place, the government hopes to reduce this number to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 37.5% by 2030. That would certainly clean up the air and make Québec a better place to live. 

Sources: Green Car Congress and Province of Québec

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