Skip to content

Federal Mandate on the Production of Electric Vehicles

The federal government has further announced additional details mandating all new vehicles sold in 2035 to be electric. 

According to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, 20 per cent of vehicles sold by dealerships must be electric or zero-emission vehicles by 2026. This figure must increase year to year to reach the goal set by the federal government of 100 per cent of new daily driven vehicles sold in Canada to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Accordingly, 50 per cent of vehicles sold in 2029 must be electric. 

According to data published by Statistics Canada, in 2023, 132,783 newly registered vehicles were either electric or hybrid, accounting for 10.3 percent of new vehicles in Canada. Electric and hybrid sales have been gradually increasing since 2020, during which 3.3 per cent of new vehicles were zero-emission. 

This federal mandate will apply to manufacturers who must show the government the rate of zero-emission vehicles imported and available for sale. If a manufacturer is under the required expected rate they will be able to make up the difference by helping to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure such as charging stations. If a manufacturer is above the required rate, they will be granted a credit for the next year. 

The government will track vehicles in the coming years based on how much work the battery power is capable of. An electric vehicle accounts for one credit, and a hybrid vehicle with a battery range over 80 kilometres also receives a full credit. Hybrids with batteries operating between 50 and 79 kilometres account for .75 credits, while vehicles capable of 16 to 49 kilometres equate to .15 credits. 

These rates are set to be adjusted as years pass, and the goal of 100 per cent zero-emission vehicles by 2035 approaches. 

Manufacturers face certain limitations, including hybrid electric vehicles being able to account for a maximum of 45 per cent of the zero-emission credits earned by a manufacturer. In 2023, Canadian automotive companies set a record for the number of electric vehicles sold. Specific details as to the exact year-to-year requirements have yet to be released, and more information is expected to be made available by the government soon.  

This federal government plan aims to fully phase out the sale of new gas-powered passenger vehicles by 2035. The sale of new hybrid vehicles with a battery range greater than 80 kilometres will still be allowed in 2035. 

This does not mean there will be an absolute shutdown of new combustion engine vehicles being sold in Canada. The mandate applies to daily driver civilian vehicles, excluding emergency vehicles, transport trucks, construction vehicles, farming vehicles, and similar large vehicles that serve a greater purpose than transportation. 

Among the problems the government will have to confront along the way of creating a nation of electric vehicle owners will be the strain added to the power grid. Natural Resources Canada released a report in 2020 stating electric vehicles may cause an increase of 22 per cent usage of electrical power by 2050. This is equivalent to the electricity used by Ontario in 2019. 

While some say this may cause electricity to become less reliable, the federal government has decided they will counteract this massive increase with heavy investments in the sector. The federal government has estimated the overall cost of upgrading the power grid and creating charging facilities across the country, which will cost $400 billion. 

If implemented, the government has predicted its mandate will reduce the release of an estimated 439 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This will reduce the consumption of gasoline across the country by billions of litres. The government believes that if their mandate is allowed to follow through, Canada will certainly be able to reach the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which was agreed to during the Paris Accords. 

While there will be an increase in emissions from power generating stations, this additional output will be greatly offset by the reduction of emissions produced by vehicles, according to a recent study from Northwestern University. 

“Our study found that on-road emission decreases more than offset power plant emission increases,” said Maxime Visa, lead author of the study at Northwestern.

One concern about electric vehicles is the lifespan of the batteries. This entirely depends on the brand of vehicle the buyer selects and how many miles the vehicle covers in its lifetime. Additionally, many in the great white North worry cold weather will lessen the ability for electric vehicles to last. As of now, the estimated life span of an electric vehicle battery is between 10 and 20 years.  

According to J.D. Power, factors like extreme temperatures and “swift charging times” can negatively impact the batteries’ lasting ability. This comes as a great concern to anyone north of the 49th parallel. J.D. Power states every battery in an electric vehicle operating in Canada and the United States has a minimum warranty for eight years or 100,000 miles (160,934 KM). 


While many manufacturers have thermal management systems to protect batteries, the lasting impact on an electric vehicle battery consistently driving in a Canadian winter in the northern portion of the country remains to be seen. 

In the case of the primary battery in an electric vehicle needing replacement, there is little to be optimistic about. A story released by the CBC tells of a Mississauga man waiting over a year for a replacement primary battery in his electric vehicle. Nationally, he was ranked 17th for a replacement and is now ranked 15th. There is little information available as to why there is such a substantial wait or when they will finally be given a new battery for their vehicle. 

An additional concern raised by critics of the move to electric vehicles for the benefit of maintaining a healthy atmosphere and planet is the vast increase in precious minerals being mined for lithium-ion batteries. A lithium-ion mine in Quebec has created great controversy among locals who now worry about the purity and accessibility of their drinking water. 

Another concern, especially in the near future, is access to charging stations for rural Canadians. Today, if someone living in Toronto or another major city owns an electric vehicle, they will have adequate public access to charging stations. However, if an electric vehicle owner were to drive into northern communities, they would quickly find themselves in trouble as charging stations are primarily a big city commodity.  

While the nationwide expansion of charging stations is presently a part of the federal government’s plans moving forward, it is unclear where their targets for charging stations will be. It is safe to assume major cities and highways will be equipped first, but determining where to place charging stations in northern communities will take time to determine and apply appropriately. The present estimation is that Canada will require between 442,000 and 469,000 public charging ports available by 2035 in order to sustain the desired outcome of electric vehicles. As of now, there are 10,425 charging stations with 25,246 charging ports. 

– Matthew Harrison, U Multicultural

Jelynn dela Cruz: Youngest Woman MLA in Manitoba History Brought up by Filipino frontline worker parents, Jelynn dela Cruz embodies the values that shaped her character.  Inspired by Philippine’s national hero, whose death anniversary falls on her birthday, MLA Jelynn Dela Cruz uses her position to empower and uplift her fellow Filipinos in Manitoba. Before becoming one of the youngest MLAsContinue Reading

Read More »

Understanding Microaggression Robyn Penner, a champion for fairness and acceptance, shares her experiences and knowledge about a tricky issue: microaggressions. These little comments might seem small but can hurt people, especially those from different cultures or backgrounds.  Penner’s journey started with her family, comprised of people from different cultures. She noticedContinue Reading

Read More »

Share this post with your friends

Subscribe to Our Newsletter