Media releases

Canada cannot wait on Washington to meet its electric vehicle target

OTTAWA— Joanna Kyriazis, senior policy advisor at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the new proposed U.S. tailpipe standards:

“The Biden administration’s announcement that it will strengthen its vehicle tailpipe emission standards—which are automatically applied in Canada—and aspire to 40% to 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030 is welcome news. Not only for our climate efforts, but also for improving the air we breathe and the long-term costs of car ownership. 

“Transportation is one of the biggest and fastest-growing sources of pollution in Canada, nearly tied with the oil and gas industry. Accordingly, Canada recently committed to ensuring that 100% of new cars sold in 2035 are zero-emission.

“However, the newly proposed rule, which requires passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada to meet more stringent vehicle emission standards from 2023 to 2026, won’t get us to the finish line, even if it does move our two nations forward. Additional policies are needed to get more Canadians out of gas cars and into electric vehicles. 

“Thankfully, a proven policy solution already exists. We need only look to B.C., Quebec and California, the places with the highest EV uptake in North America. All have policies that require automakers to sell increasing proportions of EVs in their respective jurisdictions, also called zero-emission vehicle standards. 

“Canada cannot wait on Washington to realize its EV future. We’ll need to take that wheel ourselves.”


  • Canada has linked its passenger vehicle emission standards with the U.S. since 2012. 
  • In June, the Canadian federal government set a mandatory target for 100% of all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales to be zero-emissions by 2035.
  • According to the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 report, ending the sale of new internal combustion engine cars by 2035 is a necessary step toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • More than a dozen countries around the world have announced plans to phase out the sale of new fossil-fuel-powered cars by 2050 or earlier, as have B.C.and Quebec. The U.K. has committed to ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, 10 years earlier than originally planned.
  • In addition to Quebec and B.C. and countries such as China and South Korea, 14 American states have adopted a zero-emission vehicle standard accounting for nearly 40% of new U.S. car sales: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, ColoradoWashingtonVirginia, and Minnesota
  • 60% of Canadians say they are certain or inclined to buy an electric vehicle as their next car, according to a Clean Energy Canada / Abacus Data poll from December 2020.
  • A typical Canadian EV driver will save $800 to $2,000 dollars a year in “fuel” costs compared to a gas car driver, and a few hundred dollars per year on maintenance, since EVs have far fewer parts and need less frequent repair.
  • Driving an EV reduces your carbon footprint no matter which province you live in. Replacing gas vehicles with electric ones in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario today would reduce their emissions between 34% and 98% (factoring in both the pollution from driving a gas car and pollution from the electricity grid that charges the EV), and between 46% and 87% by 2050, according to the Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team at Simon Fraser University.
  • Air pollution has been linked to over 15,000 premature deaths per year in Canada.


Media release | Canada’s updated 100% zero-emission vehicle sales target points to a clear solution

Media brief | What is a ‘zero-emission vehicle standard’ and why does Canada need one?

Report | Taking the Wheel

Poll | Electric vehicles are picking up speed in public support

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