On Tuesday, Canada unveiled the framework for an EV mandate for 2035.
The mandate, known as the Electric Vehicle Availability Standard, will gradually step up the amount of "zero-emission vehicles" until they account for 100% of new-car sales in Canada. It stipulates 20% zero-emission vehicle sales in 2026, and 60% in 2030 before eliminating sales of conventional internal-combustion vehicles after 2035.
BrightDrop EV600 production
For the purposes of the mandate, "zero-emission" includes battery electric, hydrogen, and plug-in electric vehicles. The latter may refer to plug-in hybrids, some of which will be allowed under a California rule that aims to otherwise ban gasoline cars by 2035.
Automakers will need to show compliance by accruing credits for sales of qualifying vehicles. They can also earn additional credits for EVs sold before 2026, as well as for building out charging infrastructure. Companies with a surplus of credits will then be able to sell them to companies that don't meet sales targets, the CBC reported.
Rendering of Northvolt Six battery factory in Quebec, Canada
Canada has been following both the U.S. federal government and California in aspects of its EV policy. Like the U.S. it has had a nationwide EV tax credit. But an EV mandate would put Canada ahead of the U.S.
"The Electric Vehicle Availability Standard helps Canada keep pace with the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and several other major economies which are all taking action to lower emissions and put more electric vehicles on the roads," stated the Canadian government in a release about the standards.
Proposed U.S. federal emissions rules call for up to 67% EV sales by 2032, but don't mandate EVs. That didn't stop the House of Representatives from voting to block the new rules under the misconception that they constitute a mandate, though.
The Biden administration's EV policy, which emphasizes local sourcing of batteries and their raw materials, has partly enabled recently announced battery manufacturing projects in Canada, such as a $5.2 billion Northvolt battery plant in Quebec that's scheduled to open in 2026. General Motors has also been building BrightDrop electric vans in Canada, although it paused production in July.
With additional reporting by Bengt Halvorson