Calgary Herald

Liberals set 2035 as deadline for all-electric car sales


The Liberal government is speeding up its goal for when it wants to see all light-duty vehicles sold in Canada be electric.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced Tuesday that by 2035 all new cars and light-duty trucks sold in the country will be zero-emission vehicles.

Until now, the government had set 2040 as the target for when it wants to see all passenger vehicles sold to be powered by this technology.

Alghabra cited a recent report from the Internatio­nal Energy Agency that says by 2035 nearly all new light-duty vehicle sales would have to be electric to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century.

Canada has committed that its economy will either emit no greenhouse gas emissions or offset its emissions by 2050.

“Let me just say, our target is ambitious, undoubtedl­y, but it is a must,” Alghabra said of the new electric vehicle target.

“We believe that it's doable. It needs determinat­ion, it needs focus, it needs effort.” It also needs money. Alghabra cited how the government has already poured at least $600 million into a rebate program that offers consumers a break when they buy new electric vehicles in hopes to get more of them on the road.

“We know that we need to do more,” Alghabra said Tuesday, explaining the program would be expanded to include more categories of vehicles, including ones that are used. He didn't provide a specific dollar figure on what the changes could cost.

The existing program offers buyers an upfront discount of up to either $5,000 or $2,500 and sellers then have to claim the incentives to be reimbursed.

Federal officials last fall said the rebates have been popular, but warned it wasn't going to be enough to reach the federal government's first target of electric cars making up 10 per cent of sales by 2025.

In a statement, the Global Automakers of Canada said industry shares the government's goal of “carbon eliminatio­n,” but found the announceme­nt lacking details on how to transition to 100 per cent sales of zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

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