Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 11

* MARCH 2024
11
A relaxed ZEV mandate could be one election away
Most
automakers
have no
realistic
prospect
of hitting
Ottawa's
first-year
ZEV targets.
ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE
Change Canada came out swinging
with its zero-emission vehicle
sales mandate in 2022. And late
last year it finalized the legislation
that requires ZEVs to account for
an escalating percentage of
light-duty vehicle sales every year,
arriving at 100 per cent in 2035.
Resiliently high
ZEV prices, battery
supply-chain problems
with no quick
fixes, and the
recent slowdown in
electric-vehicle
sales growth haven't
been enough
to encourage the
feds to take a step
back.
Nor has momentum
for such changes
south of the border.
With
the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) reportedly
preparing to soften ZEV standards
proposed just last year, advocates
of the regulations criticized the
expected move
as a surrender to
corporate and
union interests.
Industry boosters,
on the other
hand, said it was
an acknowledgment
that North
America's auto
sector can't turn
to ZEV production
on a dime.
FEDERAL
ZEV SALES
MANDATES
Sales
mandate
Model
year
It's worth noting
that the proposed
EPA rules
were also less
stringent than
Canada's mandate.
In the
United States, for
example, ZEV sales must make up
67 per cent of the market in
2032, compared with 83 per cent
in Canada.
And the U.S. government isn't
alone in retooling its strategy as
several automakers are repositioning
themselves or reporting weaker-than-expected
ZEV sales.
Mercedes-Benz, for instance,
said in February that it would continue
to produce internal-combustion-engine
vehicles into the
2030s, pushing back its initial ZEVtransition
plans to the end of the
decade. General Motors, meantime,
changed course in January
by announcing it would increase its
range of plug-in-hybrids in North
America to supplement its growing
battery-electric lineup, which is not
seeing sales accelerate as quickly
as expected.
In Canada, automakers have
shied away from saying it publicly,
but with a few exceptions, most
have no realistic prospect of hitting
Ottawa's initial ZEV-adoption target
of 20 per cent for the 2026 model
year without trading for credits with
dedicated EV makers such as
Tesla, or actively curtailing ICE vehicle
sales to artificially hit the right
ratio.
But while players in the
Canadian auto sector have given
up on any change of course from
Ottawa before the sales mandate
begins taking effect in 2025, a
softer timetable could offer a
reprieve.
The next federal election must
2025 -
2026 20%
2027 23%
2028 34%
2029 43%
2030 60%
2031 74%
2032 83%
2033 94%
2034 97%
2035 100%
Source:
Government
of Canada
1
2
3
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take place by Oct. 20,
2025, and skepticism is
growing among automakers
and dealers that the
current government - and
its ZEV policy - will survive
Canadians' next trip to
the polls.
DAVID
KENNEDY
Even a cursory survey of the political
landscape shows why. Since last summer,
polling results have turned decidedly against
the long-ruling Liberal government. Recent
results show that an election held today
would almost certainly result in a
Conservative majority.
TORONTO
BUREAU
CHIEF
The Conservatives have
taken few definitive ZEV
policy positions, but the
party has provided ample
reason to be skeptical it
would stick to the Liberal
ZEV strategy. Conservative
Leader Pierre Poilievre has
made " axing " the Liberal carbon tax a core
part of his messaging, and it requires no
stretch of the imagination to extend the
approach to the ZEV mandate.
In the end, the auto sector might not
need to meet the ZEV sales mandate but
simply wait out the Liberal mandate. - ANC
Current polling suggests Conservative Leader
Pierre Poilievre, right, would win the 2025 federal
election. He has made " axing " Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau's carbon tax a core part of his
messaging, and that could translate to a softened
federal ZEV sales mandate. FILE PHOTOS
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Automotive News Canada - March 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - March 2024

Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 1
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 2
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 3
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 4
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 5
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 6
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 7
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 8
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 9
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 10
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - I1
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - I2
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 11
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 12
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 13
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 14
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 15
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 16
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 17
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 18
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 19
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 20
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 21
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 22
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 23
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 24
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 25
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 26
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 27
Automotive News Canada - March 2024 - 28
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