Canada set to mandate electric vehicle sales starting in 2026, 100% of all vehicles sold will have to be electric by 2035

Starting in 2026, 20% of all passenger vehicles sold in Canada will need to be electric vehicles under newly proposed regulations by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.

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The one-fifth electric vehicle sales mandate beginning in 2026 will include all passenger vehicles like cars, SUVs, and trucks.

Soon after, the mandate will be raised to 60% of vehicles sold will need to be electric by 2030, and then by 2035 100% of all passenger vehicles sold in Canada will have to be electric.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault’s parliamentary secretary Julie Dabrusin said this mandate is “about making sure that Canadians have access to the vehicles they want.”

Additionally, if manufacturers or importers do not meet the new sales targets they could face penalties under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Currently, in 2022, sales of fully-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles made up only 7.2% of all new car registrations. 

With the newly proposed regulations, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault expects Canadians in three years to more than double those numbers to 20% of passenger vehicles sold in Canada.

In the announcement, the government says “The regulations will require that at least 20 percent of new vehicles sold in Canada will be zero emission by 2026, at least 60 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2035.”

The government claims that “These targets will help increase supply so that more Canadians who want a ZEV can buy one.”

“The evidence from Quebec, British Columbia, and other jurisdictions with ZEV sales targets in place is clear: when combined with supportive investments, a zero-emission vehicle sales target accelerates the transition to clean cars and trucks.”

“The shift to zero-emission vehicles is good for our workers; for our automotive, battery, and mining supply chains; and for our economy, creating jobs and prosperity for generations of workers to come. The shift is good for our environment, keeping our air clean”, the government said in the announcement.

Adding that “Canadians are invited to submit their feedback on the proposed regulations during the 75-day consultation period. Final regulations are expected to be published in 2023.”

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