New federal regulations will require 100% of vehicle sales to be EVs by 2035

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As uptake of electric and low-emissions vehicles slowly rises in Alberta, the federal government has announced sweeping plans to increase the uptake of EVs by requiring manufacturers to hit production targets over the next decade-plus.

Those targets will require 100 per cent of cars for sale in Canada to be zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) by 2035, the federal government announced Tuesday.

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The strategy will require auto manufacturers to ensure at least a fifth of vehicles offered for sale in 2026 are electric or plug-in hybrids — a number that will increase to three fifths by 2030.

Flexibility has been built into the draft regulations, with automakers allowed to purchase credits if they fail to reach their targets and companies that hit their targets sooner will earn credits for sale as early as 2024.

The feds also said companies can earn one credit — which can be banked or traded — for every $20,000 invested in a fast-charging station infrastructure project.

It added $1.2 billion is being put toward building 84,500 chargers across the country by 2029.

The federal government’s mandated targets for electric vehicle sales leading into 2035. Photo by Environment and Climate Change Canada

As of 2022, Alberta had 44,705 cars on the road that were battery, hybrid or plug-in hybrid electric — about 1.2 per cent of cars on the road. That’s compared to British Columbia, which had 173,594 of the same cars on the road — 4.8 per cent of all registered vehicles in the province.

However, Alberta managed to outpace the national growth rates for low-emission vehicle uptake in 2022.

In Alberta, sales of battery electric vehicles rose 63.7 per cent, hybrid electric vehicle sales increased around 24 per cent and plug-in electric vehicle sales rose 41.1 per cent.

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Nationally, growth rates for battery electrics cars (46.8 per cent), hybrid electric (23 per cent) and plug-in electric vehicles (26.5 per cent) were lower than Alberta in 2022.

The City of Calgary has its own plan for accelerating the transition to EVs. According to its Pathways to 2050 strategy, released in 2022, it plans to roll out incentives for at-home charging and retrofits of charging infrastructure in multi-unit residential buildings.

It also says the city plans to require all new residential buildings to be built to an EV-ready standard by next year.

Last week Ford announced it would cut in half production of its F-150 Lightning, its electric pickup truck, with slower-than-expected growth, in part due to prices and interest rates remaining high.

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