Policy Recommendations

Light-Duty EV Consumer Adoption

1. Continue purchase incentives for new passenger EVs but focus on value for electric-only range to include long range electric cars, SUVs and pickup trucks.

Until EVs reach price parity in sticker price, incentives are needed to “level the playing field” between electric and gas cars. New vehicle incentives also help grow the supply of used EVs in the market, bringing down the price of used electric cars over time. The federal EV rebate program needs to be updated to support the types of vehicles Canadians want to buy: long-range electric cars, SUVs and pickup trucks. Going forward, Canada should base eligibility on a straightforward evaluation of price relative to electric range, rather than sticker price alone.

Policy Details

2. Have the most polluting vehicles fund EV incentives for new vehicles

Impose a fee on the most polluting new vehicles and use the revenues generated to fund EV purchase incentives. This approach would offer consumers a choice: they can purchase a cleaner car and get a EV incentive or choose a more polluting car and help support other Canadians in going electric.

Policy Details

3. Offer incentives for used EVs

About 60% of car purchases in Canada occur in the second-hand market. Make EV incentives available to used car buyers to increase EV adoption.

4. Provide a low-and-modest income household purchase incentive “top-up”

Low- and modest-income Canadians also benefit from the fuel and maintenance savings an electric car provides, but are less likely able to afford a new vehicle. Canada should establish an additional income-tested incentive for new or used EVs, and offer support for the installation of home charging infrastructure.

5. Make it easier for taxi, ride-hailing and carshare companies to go electric

Taxi, ride-hailing and carshare companies currently face a cap on how many EV incentives they’re able to take advantage of. Remove this cap for taxi, ride-hailing, carshare and other companies providing transportation to the public to help them go fully electric by 2030.

6. Offer low-interest loans to first time EV buyers

Often lower-income Canadians have trouble accessing financial support to help cover the initial purchasing cost of an EV. The Canada Infrastructure Bank, or other government agency, should step in to fill this gap and provide low-interest EV loans to consumers who need it most.

7. Support consumer EV education

Many Canadians want to go electric but have unanswered questions or don’t know where to start. Work with leading and trusted organizations like Plug’n Drive, EV Society, Plug in BC, AVÉQ and others to establish a suite of programs to educate and support consumers in making the transition to electric vehicles.

Policy Details

Medium, Heavy-Duty and Off-Road Fleet Electrification

8. Make electric buses, trucks and off-road vehicles more affordable

Tax credits and rebates are needed to lower the upfront cost of zero-emission buses, trucks and off-road vehicles. In addition, more should be done to offset the costs of electrical upgrades associated with the specific charging infrastructure these types of vehicles need.

9. Work across jurisdictions to accelerate electric transit and school bus adoption

Continue to provide predictable and long-term funding to municipalities, transit agencies and school bus operators that plan to convert their entire fleet to electric vehicles. Funding should help cover the cost of the electric buses themselves, their charging infrastructure, and any grid upgrades needed to support them.

10. Electrify vehicle fleets in ports, airports and similar federal facilities

Phase out fossil-fuel vehicles at federally regulated properties, such as ports and airports, through a combination of tolls on polluting vehicles, restrictions on access for polluting trucks, and through support for charging infrastructure.

National EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan

11. Set targets for EV charging installations, for all types of vehicles

Set ambitious targets for putting EV charging connectors in key areas such as apartment buildings, workplaces, downtown cores, along highways and remote travel corridors, and at fleet depots. Expand current funding programs to achieve those targets. Ensure charging access for all Canadians by setting targets specific to northern, rural, and indigenous communities.

12. Make one-million condo and apartments EV ready over five years

Nearly 30% of Canadians live in apartments or condos. A lack of EV charging access in these buildings creates a major barrier to EV uptake. Government should take immediate steps to make one-million parking spaces in these buildings EV ready. Achieve this goal by allocating $1-billion over five years to make one-million existing condominium and apartment parking stalls ZEV-ready.

Policy Details

13. Add EV charging requirements to national building codes

Establish provisions in the National Model Building and Electrical Codes to have all new residential parking spots be “EV-ready” and 20%-40% of new non-residential parking spots to include the basic electrical infrastructure needed for EV charging. Cities should also be encouraged to play a leadership role by developing their own EV-ready requirements.

14. Put underutilized government lands to work: establish public charging “hubs”

To support access to charging in urban areas for those without reliable home charging access, establish charging hubs on underused government lands, particularly in high-density urban areas. Charging hubs should be large, open to all charging operators without exclusivity, and accessible to the public without the need to pay a parking fee while charging.

15. Provide a connection rebate to cover costs levied by utilities when building large-scale charging stations

Moving freight and large volumes of passenger vehicles with electricity will require electrical service upgrades to accommodate the power needs of large-scale charging infrastructure. These installations are costly today. Federal and provincial governments, electric utilities, provincial regulators and charging operators must work together to better allocate these costs while recognizing the economic opportunities. In the near-term, Canada can support charging investments by providing time-limited rebates for large-scale charging investments.

16. Include EV charger installation in home energy retrofit programs

Hundreds of thousands of older Canadian homes have outdated electrical panels, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to install an EV charger. EVs being three-times more energy efficient than gas cars and contributing to reduce GHG emissions, existing home energy retrofit programs should support the installation of newer, more efficient electrical panels and EV charging infrastructure.

2030 Electric Vehicle Strategy and EV Regulation

17. Immediately Launch a Canadian EV Strategy

Enact legislation requiring the federal government to establish a Canadian EV strategy and a regularly updated EV action plan through 2035. Legislation should require the government to implement actions sufficient to achieve 100% passenger vehicle sales by 2030 and by 100% zero-emission bus and truck sales by 2040 at the latest.

Policy Details

18. Adopt a national ZEV Mandate for passenger vehicles requiring 100% ZEV sales by 2030.

A national ZEV mandate will push automakers to introduce more EV makes and models, increasing consumer choice, reducing long wait times for EVs, and improving battery technology to help meet the ever-growing demand for EVs in Canada. It will also help supply EVs across Canada, where currently most EVs available for sale are distributed to the two provinces that already have ZEV Mandates in place: British Columbia and Quebec. Apply the national standard only where provincial standards are weak or do not exist.

Policy Details

19. Implement strong tailpipe emission standards for all types of vehicles

Canada must align its auto tailpipe emission standards with the toughest standards in North America, in addition to establishing a national ZEV mandate. Cleaner cars not only cut carbon emissions, they also improve air quality in our communities and save consumers money at the pump. The existing standards have too many “compliance flexibilities” (loopholes) which should be eliminated going forward. Canada must also strengthen emission standards for larger vehicles like buses and trucks, as these are big contributors to tailpipe pollution too.

20. Adopt a national ZEV Mandate for trucks and buses requiring 100% ZEV sales by 2040 at the latest.

Set a target to achieve 100% zero-emission bus and truck sales by 2040, at the latest, with interim milestones along the way. Increase ambition as technology and product offerings improve. Align Canada’s requirements with the most ambitious targets in North America.

21. Develop a plan to help rural, northern, First Nations and Inuit communities go electric

Many rural, northern, and indigenous communities in Canada have not yet had equal opportunity to participate in the benefits of the EV transition due to a lack of charging options and vehicle availability, among other things. It is critical that these barriers be addressed to allow all Canadians a meaningful opportunity to drive electric.

22. Offer an “green scrap-it program” for all types of vehicles

Establish a program that gets gasoline vehicles off the road and replaces them with zero emission vehicles. Allow all polluting vehicles–from cars to buses to snowmobiles–to be scrapped and recycled as part of the program. Government could also offer other clean transportation options such as public transit passes, vouchers for bicycles, vouchers for EV-only car/rideshare services etc, for those Canadians who are not looking to purchase a new vehicle.

Domestic EV Jobs and Manufacturing Capacity

23. Support and attract EV-related business and investment in Canada

Focus on attracting more investment to accelerate EV manufacturing and related industries in Canada, including assembly, parts, machinery, charging equipment, and battery materials extraction/processing with a “Canadian EV Economic Development and Investment Attraction Strategy.” Building these industries will create good sustainable jobs and raise the profile of EVs to further support their adoption in Canada.

24. Focus R&D investment on strategic EV technology

Canada should focus its efforts on accelerating technologies, research, development and manufacturing associated with reducing the costs of vehicle batteries and thus vehicle costs per unit of range. Achieving economies of scale in vehicle, battery and charging infrastructure production will also help to reduce costs for consumers and fleets.

25. Work with provinces to fast-track EV-only service technician training

EVs are far less complicated machines than gas vehicles. Work with provinces to revamp the vehicle mechanic curriculum to prioritize EVs by fast-tracking training for EV mechanics, and provide them with more apprenticeship opportunities.

26. Support retraining programs and help workers make the transition to zero carbon industry.

Building a labor force with the right skills– from engineering and research, electrical and mechanical, charging infrastructure installation, maintenance, and fleet management–will be critical to the success of Canada’s transition to a zero carbon economy. Explore opportunities for the government to support employers, whether traditional industry or all-EV, to train new employees who have not previously worked in the EV industry. Maintain existing funding commitments for training and re-training.

27. Take a North American approach to EV manufacturing and supply chains

Work with the US Administration to ensure that any “Buy America” policies reflect the North American auto market and do not negatively impact Canadian EV businesses or suppliers. Collaborate with the U.S. to build a North American EV industry and supply chain.

Federal Leadership

28. Establish a “Privy Council Office for Electric Transport”

Create a dedicated Privy Council Office to coordinate EV responsibilities across departments and advise the Prime Minister on progress being made towards achieving the government’s electrification goals. Centralized coordination and Prime Ministerial oversight will elevate the importance of this issue and ensure it receives the attention it deserves.

29. Make government & parliamentarian EV awareness and education a priority

Unless both consumers and policy makers understand all the benefits, needs and savings associated with electric vehicles, the transition to an electric future will take longer than necessary. The government should make education a priority, working with leading organizations like Plug’n Drive, EV Society, AVÉQ, Plug in BC and others to establish experiential learning opportunities for elected officials and civil servants.

30. Convene electricity stakeholders to develop EV solutions for our grid

Establish cross-Canadian guidance for electricity regulators to speed up deployment of charging infrastructure.

Policy Details

31. Ensure federal fleets and buildings are 100% electric and EV-ready

Government can lead by example and further increase domestic EV demand and investment by using its own purchasing power. Starting now, every vehicle purchased by the government should be electric, unless an electric option does not yet exist to meet a specific need. Canada should also start electrifying its owned and leased parking lots immediately to offer charging options to its fleets and employees. Set a hard target of at least 10% of all owned and occupied parking spaces being electrified by no later than 2025.

32. Establish a Zero Emission Zone in the City of Ottawa

The Government of Canada should work with the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa to establish a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) in downtown Ottawa. ZEZs are areas in which polluting vehicles are required to pay a fee to enter, acting as a disincentive for gas-vehicle use within the zone, and encouraging forms of zero emission travel such as EVs, bicycles or electric public transit. Other cities and national capitals (e.g. London, UK) are implementing zero-emission zones too.