In 2018 the Government of Canada set ambitious federal targets for zero-emission vehicles to reach 100% of new light-duty vehicle (LDV) sales by 2040, with interim targets leading up to that date.
Despite a hugely popular national iZEV rebate program offering up to $5,000 off the purchase of qualifying zero-mission vehicles, it looks like Canada is going to miss its first interim target.
According to the latest figures from Transport Canada, the target of having 10% of LDV sales be zero-emission by 2025 will instead look more like between 4% and 6%. The figures also show Canada will reach 10% by 2030, five years later than hoped.
What can Canada do to further boost electric vehicle sales?
The first is to make sure the iZEV rebate program continues. Originally announced in May 2019, it was initially funded with $300 million and supposed to last three years. Thanks to the hugely popular Tesla Model 3, nearly half ($134 million) was used up in the first 8 months.
According to Joanna Kyriazis, senior policy adviser at Clean Energy Canada, not only does the program need to continue, it should also be expanded to include used electric vehicles (EVs). Kyriazis also says the focus should also shift to Canadians who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford an EV without the rebate.
“We want to see a few tweaks to that program to make sure that the money is getting to Canadians who need it most done, not those who would have gone out and bought one anyway,” she told Global News.
While Canada might not hit the 10% target by 2025, British Columbia has already reached that level five years ahead of schedule. Home to one of the highest rates of EV adoption in North America, approximately 9% of all light-duty vehicle (ICE and EV) sales in the province sales are electric based on figures from late last year.