Recently, Canadian environment official Minister Steven Guilbeault announced the country’s newest electric vehicle mandates set to be implemented in the next decade. By 2035, Canada will require all new vehicle sales to be either electric or plug-in hybrid.
“Today, we’re announcing the next step in this plan, electric vehicle availability standard that drives Canada towards all new light duty vehicle sales in Canada to be electric or plug in hybrid by 2035. This includes the interim goals along the way, beginning with 20% of all new vehicle sales EVs by 2026,” Guilbeault stated.
According to the minister, one of the main hurdles to consumers purchasing electric vehicles is their lack of availability on the market. Therefore, Guilbeault claims the regulation removing traditional gas-powered cars from the Canadian market is a mechanism to give car buyers their “fair share” of the global EV supply.
“The standard tackles one of the main barriers to people buying EVs, the limited availability and long wait time we will do this by entering more electric cars coming to the Canadian market instead of the US or other markets that have similar targets. It ensures Canadians have access to our fair share of the global supply of these vehicles. Since we started consulting on this the new electric vehicle availability standard now includes an early credit system to help automakers comply by encouraging them to get more EVs on the market as early as possible and even next year, and to build more charging infrastructure,” the official continued.
Canada’s EV rule mirrors similar regulatory action in some states across the U.S. For example, California is mandating that all new cars sold in the state must be electric by 2035. Per reports, at least 17 other states nationwide have agreed to adopt all or part of this regulation.
While politicians and automakers are raving over the EV agenda, consumer demand is not matching the supply side forces. Subsequently, thousands of car dealers wrote an open letter addressed to Joe Biden asking him to “tap the brakes” on the EV mandates, not aligned with free market principles.
The car dealers noted that the current state of the EV market is underdeveloped, suggesting it is premature to enact such regulation. The letter cited insufficient infrastructure surrounding the vehicles and hesitant consumers unwilling to purchase them.
“These vehicles are ideal for many people, and we believe their appeal will grow over time. The reality, however, is that electric vehicle demand today is not keeping up with the large influx of BEVs [battery electric vehicles] arriving at our dealerships prompted by the current regulations. BEVs are stacking up on our lots,” the letter said. “Mr. President, it is time to tap the brakes on the unrealistic government electric vehicle mandate. Allow time for the battery technology to advance. Allow time to make BEVs more affordable. Allow time to develop domestic sources for the minerals to make batteries. Allow time for the charging infrastructure to be built and prove reliable. And most of all, allow time for the American consumer to get comfortable with the technology and make the choice to buy an electric vehicle.”
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