Quebec, Canada Looks To Have Its Own CARB-ZEV Mandate To Get More EVs On The Road

FEB 5 2014 BY JAY COLE 23

The Toyota RAV4 EV (like this one we took a shot of split in half at the recent LA Auto Show) Is Built In Canada, But Sold In California Only

The Toyota RAV4 EV (like this split one we snapped at the LA Auto Show) Is Built In Canada, But Sold In California Only

A petition has been put forward in Quebec, Canada to legislate a zero emission mandate that is not unlike the current CARB (California Air Resources Board) requirement that demands automakers sell a minimal threshold of all-electric vehicles in the state.

Petition Could Lead To Making Quebec The First CARB-Like Province In Canada

Petition Could Lead To Making Quebec The First CARB-Like Province In Canada

Overall, this sounds like a pretty good idea to us as CARB was instrumental in bringing about the current plug-in revolution now seen not only in the US but around the world.  Seeing similar legislation enacted elsewhere in the world only strengthens the movement.

It is hoped through this effort that not only would more mainstream plug-in vehicles be sold in the province, but other “compliance vehicles” like the RAV4 EV would made available.  The 103 mile (EPA) EV from Toyota is built regionally in neighbouring Ontario but sold exclusively in California.

Editor’s note:  Tesla Motors builds the electric drivetrains for the RAV4 EV at their facility in Fremont, California, then ships those units to Woodstock, Ontario (which is about 370 miles from Quebec’s border) for Toyota to build the RAV4 EV – the completed vehicle is then returned whole to California for sale.

"La Belle Province"

“La Belle Province”

As previously (and still today) in California, there is a lot of resistance to such a push into electric vehicles from many layers of the automotive industry, including the OEMs themselves.

Last year 1.74 million cars were sold in Canada (about 11% compared to the size of the US market), but only 3,100 of them were plug-in vehicles, as compared to about 96,000 sold in the US.

The petition is open until March 3rd, 2014, so if you are interested in supporting this proposal, you should probably head over to this link (in French) quick to help out!

Text of the petition (translated to English below):

WHEREAS the scientific consensus demonstrates the harmful health effects of air pollution caused by fossil fuels;

WHEREAS road transport (cars, trucks and buses) is responsible for 80% of emissions in the transport sector and 31% of total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Quebec;

WHEREAS Quebec has a trade deficit in energy transport material and is not assured of a secure economically stable fuel supply;

WHEREAS the Quebec specific targets for GHG reductions of 20% below the 1990 emissions by 2020;

WHEREAS the electrification of transport or individual is essential to reduce GHG emissions in Québec;

WHEREAS the supply of electric vehicles must be present to achieve the level of electrification of transportation with 12,500 electric vehicles in 2017;

WHEREAS Quebec has underutilized electricity infrastructure;

WHEREAS, significant investments have been made ​​to the electrification of transportation;

WHEREAS the supply of electric vehicles is present mainly in jurisdictions that require it;

CONSIDERING THAT a law would develop expertise in electric transport would achieve our objectives and would radiate the Québec know-how;

We, the undersigned, call on the Government of Quebec to implement a Zero Emission law with penalties for failing to impose on manufacturers to provide an adequate share of electric vehicles Quebecers to achieve all the above.

Hat tip to Simon at AVEQ

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23 Comments on "Quebec, Canada Looks To Have Its Own CARB-ZEV Mandate To Get More EVs On The Road"

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I don’t think the current CARB requirements do all that much besides bring us a handful of low production compliance cars. However, I believe the requirements get stricter each year.

Quebec is definitely showing the most leadership in Canada when it comes to EVs. Unfortunately I think they’re too small a market to do this on their own. Canada as a whole has enough clout to implement a CARB-style mandate, but the likelihood of that happening with our current Alberta-sourced government is exactly zero.

We have close to half of all Canadian electric car sales in Quebec, so I do believe it counts for something. With the upcoming Via extended-range electric pickup, I hope to see a few on Alberta’s streets!

@David: CARB also brings more competition, therefore cheaper leases, and DC quick chargers on highways, installed by Nissan et al. So it does make a whole lot of difference! We have only a few years left before our incentives run out, and you know what happens when there are no more incentives….. so we want to have the ball rolling before it’s all too late.

The Quebec market is not that small. 8M people (more than Norway), over 400,000 new vehicles sold every year, distinct consumer preferences (60% cars, 40% light truck, with the most popular models being the compact Hyundai Elantra and the Honda Civic), urban concentration in the Saint Lawrence River valley and high gasoline prices (C$1.32/litre -> C$5/US gallon).

Quebec also enjoys an enviable electricity situation: A robust electric grid able to serve huge home heating loads, close to 100% renewable generation (99% hydro, 1% wind), energy surpluses for the next 15 years and the lowest power rates in North America. Add to this a very keen public utility and generous government incentives and you have all the ingredients needed to make EVs a success.

Except for one thing.

The only reason why EVs don’t sell more than they do so far in Quebec is car dealerships with almost no electric cars to sell. That must change. That’s why I signed the petition.

Well said

You know, you’re right. And it’s got to start somewhere. I signed the petition as well. If we could get the other EV-friendly provinces on-board as well, it would help a lot.

If enough provinces / states / countries pass such laws, eventually automakers will decide that it’s easier to just make the EVs available everywhere to anyone who wants to buy them, even places without the requirement. I see Quebec joining as a solid move in that directly. I wish NYS would follow and require a certain percentage of EVs sold within our borders. Heck, even if NYS required that all automakers have EVs AVAILABLE for sale it would be a step in the right direction. But instead, we’re left with the few automakers that took the initiative to sell BEVs outside of CA – Nissan, Ford and Tesla.

NY has ZEV laws. The problem is the rules are such that OEMs can sell EVs in CA and a % of those sells count towards ZEV requirements in NY (and other such CARB states).

Yes, and it’s exactly that loophole I’m referring to. So technically, NYS does not require that EVs are sold within our borders.

For example, Toyota does not need to sell a single BEV in NYS. Instead, they can sell them only in CA, and count a percentage of those sales towards NYS’s requirements. That doesn’t do us any good – and I know of a few people who otherwise wanted a Rav4 EV.

Even if we don’t set number requirements, I would like to see the state require that they are available for purchase (not just lease) and can be serviced within NYS.

Unfortunately chances of change in that are unlikely – in the federal govt & CA negotiation on allowing CA to have different standards, the “transport” rules which were supposed to sunset were reinstated.

I still think battery capacity incentives work better than BEV mandates, especially up north. I get BEV’s, as an ideal, but the cost gap to adequate storage vs. a simple ICE machine is enough that a ZEV, rather than PHEV, policy could be limited to a side show.

Small correction

Any individuate in the world can sign the petition. It is for this reason that we sollicition your help to sign this important petition to us

Je vais signer la pétition et encourager les autres à le signer aussi bien.

Merci beacoup!

A BEV car which takes a massive hit in range when it gets cold does not seem the brightest of ideas in Canada.
PHEVs or FCEVs yes, but BEVs – why?

Do you even read this site? Although BEVs take a range hit in the cold, it’s still not as much — percentage-wise — as ICE vehicles.

I read lots of things Aaron.
If you want to reply, stay civil.

The range hit on an ICE or PHEV doesn’t matter too much as there are plenty of petrol stations around to fill up again in a few minutes and the range is anyway 300 miles and up.

The range hit on a BEV matters a great deal when you only start off with 84 miles of range in a brand new Leaf and charging away from home is both time consuming and there are not always convenient chargers.

I think you are confusing range with fueling cost. There is a big difference. There was recently an article on this site which showed that although the range hit is *worse* in EVs, the increased cost of fuel was *better* (due to a higher percentage of a lower number).

@Brian:
Good clarification.

OTOH, if I am correct that Nissan is about to increase the battery pack size, at least as an option, they will be able to cope better with the cold decreasing range.

In very cold climates the PHEV still seems a much better option unless you can afford Tesla like range.
KISS.

Yes they are.
And still a choice that’s not fullfilled here in Québec because the lack of car in sufficient number.
People can’t get new Volt here as you can.
Full electric is also something that’s possible, with some good planification for people who are willing to do so, as I am.
Tesla apart of course!

They should let the market make the decision in that all the CARB mandates do is produce a group of low range low volume EV’s that are more like automakers having to build them with a gun held to their head then them coming into being on their own. Such as at least with the I-MEV and the Nissan leaf and Tesla they are expanding EV’s into areas where they have never been before and that includes places with no CARB mandates. Along with these cars that where not made by kicking and screaming car maker gas guzzling toddlers several barns on their own are easily out selling all the CARB put together.

A example of this is in three years when Tesla and Nissan gets production roaring on their model E and 150 mile leaf they won’t have to worry about CARB.

Yes and no.
I agree about tou much law or constaint is misleading.
But, on another side, the manufacturer we’re left alone since the 70′ because they’ve told authority’s that they would take better care of the average fuel consumption and associated pollution.
Guess what, 25 years laters,they did nothing by themselve! Because the market were’nt there.
What about air bag, anti skid, ABS, thousand of recall for dangerous things of all sort.
How many where iniated by the sole manufacturer?
You have your answer.
Playing by the rule two opponent will sure tell you who’s the best, but you need some body to get sure the rule are followed.
It’s unfortunate, but this is the way thing are done for quite a long time.

They should increase taxes on gas by a factor of two or something, then EVs will get better TOC. That would be good. And the state would gain some extra money in the first something years due to higher taxes.

In Quebec, the actual inventory of new EVs and PHEVs is simply anemic. With gas prices around $1.41 per liter today, $5.50 per US gallon, the TCO of EVs and PHEVs is better than any ICE engine car.
The demande for ZEV is there, but the offer is not sufficient.
Vermont, a very small state has a law in place.
If Vermonters can protect their environment, why Quebecers could not?