President & CEO, Electric Mobility Canada
Mediaplanet sat down with Daniel Breton, President and CEO at Electric Mobility Canada, to discuss the challenges facing Canada’s EV industry and EMC’s EV Action Plan.
What challenges does Canada’s EV industry face, and how are we working to tackle them?
Supply chain: Needless to say, a vehicle, electric or not, is made up of a lot of parts. The same goes for charging infrastructure — different components must come together to see the production to its completion. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic that took the world by storm in 2020 decelerated the supply chain, and in fact, almost brought it to a halt. The electric vehicle (EV) industry, like many others, is currently playing catch up.
ZEV mandate: Canada needs to adopt a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate to ensure EVs are available for all Canadians.
Education and training: Players in our industry are working furiously to educate the public on the benefits of EVs — not only on an individual level, but on a global scale. The more informed the public is, the greater demand will be for EVs. In addition to the need for better consumer education, investments in job training — both private and public — must be made to prepare the labour force for the influx of new technologies.
For drivers hesitant to make the switch, what are some of the key benefits of EVs?
There are so many! The benefits for drivers include saving money, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and convenience, to name a few.
EVs save money: Driving electric costs much less than gas (driving 100 kilometres can cost as little as $2). Additionally, government incentives cover some or most of the cost difference of acquisition.
EVs positively impact climate change: GHG emissions are much lower when driving electric when charged with electricity from renewable sources. These GHG emissions are still lower than gas-powered vehicles even when charged with electricity generated from fossil fuels.
Driving an EV is convenient: No more stops at the gas station — most charging is done at home. Public charging infrastructure is also growing to meet EV drivers’ needs across Canada. There are currently over 19,500 charging public ports, including 3,784 fast chargers, distributed in 7,967 charging sites across the country.
What is a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales mandate, and how will it help Canada reach its EV adoption and climate targets?
A ZEV mandate is a regulatory credit program that requires a growing percentage of a manufacturer’s sold vehicles in the regulated market to be electric. Its main objective is to improve the availability of EVs for consumers and businesses who wish to acquire them.
The reasons why Canada needs to adopt a ZEV mandate are clear:
- Self-regulation does not work. For example, in 2005, a voluntary agreement signed between the federal government and car manufacturers requiring them to reduce their GHG emissions missed the mark by 95 per cent.
- Transportation represents 24 percent of Canada’s GHG emissions, so EVs are essential to reaching our climate goals.
- Health Canada estimates that the economic cost of air pollution is $120 billion annually and contributes to 15,300 premature deaths. The emissions from transportation account for a significant percentage of this air pollution. Accelerating EV adoption through a ZEV mandate and other EV policies will save the lives of thousands of Canadians and billions of dollars.
- Even though twice as many EV models are now offered in Canada than just a couple of years ago, Canadian drivers who want to go electric because of high gas prices feel they have few options due to EV unavailability. In jurisdictions and countries where light-duty vehicle regulation is more stringent, EVs are more readily available for consumers who want them.
Tell us about EMC’s 2030 EV Action Plan. What is the goal of this industry-led project, and how will it be achieved?
The 2030 EV Action Plan is a set of 32 policy recommendations intended to ensure Canada succeeds in the transition to electric mobility. The goal is to move Canada to 100 percent electric passenger vehicle sales by 2030 in support of Canada’s economic, environmental, and public health goals. For all other vehicles, the same should be achieved by 2040 at the latest. Achieving this will create thousands of new jobs, secure Canadian global EV manufacturing leadership, improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.
These recommendations are categorized into the six following pillars:
- Light-duty EV consumer adoption
- Medium, heavy-duty, and off-road fleet electrification
- National EV infrastructure deployment plan
- 2030 electric vehicle strategy and EV regulation
- Domestic EV jobs and manufacturing capacity
- Federal leadership
To view the complete list of policy recommendations, visit 2030EVactionplan.ca. If your organization is interested in publicly supporting the Plan by showcasing its logo on the #2030EVactionplan website, we invite you to fill out this form.