Ask Canada to adopt an electric vehicle sales quota to fight climate change, air pollution

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Canada needs to adopt a policy requiring large automakers to sell a certain percent of vehicles that are electric (called an electric vehicle (EV) mandate or zero-emission vehicle mandate) to enable transition to low-carbon transportation, reduce traffic-related air pollution and decrease the risk of associated chronic diseases such as asthma. Please urge the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to adopt an effective nation-wide EV mandate.

 The issues:

  • About 25% of Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are from the transportation sector. These emissions have been increasing over the decades and will continue to increase.
  • Greenhouse gases are linked to global warming and climate change, which have been associated with extreme weather events such as superstorms, droughts, forest fires, etc.
  • Fossil-fuel based transportation is also responsible for local air pollution (traffic-related air pollution), which is associated with higher risk of asthma, cardiovascular disease and premature death. In the greater Toronto-Hamilton Area, this pollution is estimated to be responsible for about 700 to 1000 premature deaths each year.
  • Across the country, 13% to 54% of Canadians live in areas of high exposure to traffic-related air pollution.
  • To improve the health of Canadians exposed to such pollution, reduce our overall GHG emissions, meet our international commitments and contribute to keeping global temperatures from increasing beyond 2 degrees centigrade, emissions from transportation need to be reduced.

Several policies and solutions are needed to reduce transport-related GHG emissions. One cost-effective solution is an electric vehicle (EV) or zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate. One estimate suggests that we can reduce our transport-related annual emissions by 40% by 2040 by adopting a strong EV mandate.

 What is an EV mandate?

  • Mandated requirement that LARGE automakers sell a certain percentage of vehicles that are electric or zero emission.
  • It has been adopted in Quebec, California and nine other US states.
  • It would foster innovations, research, investments and partnerships needed to hasten the increased deployment of electric vehicles.

 Why an EV mandate?

 Unfortunately, while many Canadians are interested in buying electric vehicles, there are often long wait lists and few models to choose from. In fact, it is estimated to be five times harder to buy an electric vehicle in Canada than in the United States. A strong EV sales quota would address these issues.

For more information on electric vehicle sales quota or mandate, how it would work, and other information on electric cars, please visit


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