Car News

Quebec Mandates EV Sales for 2018

Quebec is now Canada's first province to require electric vehicle sales. The bill containing the sales requirements and targets passed in the National Assembly by a vote of 112 to 0 last week. That puts the province in line with 10 US states which are also requiring quotas for EV sales in an attempt to help reduce pollution and greenhouse gasses. The laws have not yet gone to public consultation so changes may still come, but the legislation is a landmark attempt at reducing carbon emissions in Canada.

The rules will start with 2018 model year cars, and require any manufacturer selling more than 4,500 new vehicles per year to comply. Trading of credits will be allowed, allowing those with higher EV sales like Tesla to sell their excess, and credits can accumulate as far back as the 2014 model year.

For 2018, manufacturers will need to have 3.5 percent of their sales be zero-emission vehicles. But one EV isn't necessarily one credit. Higher range EVs get more credits. An EV with an all-electric range of 563 km would qualify as four credits for the new system. Plug-in hybrids could get between 0.4 and 1.3 credits, allowing sales of those vehicles to help automakers totals. The target will continue to move upward and will be 15.5 percent for 2025. That would lead to approximately 70,000 EVs sold in Quebec that year based on the Province's estimates.

The first year target of 3.5 percent is a huge increase over the just under 1 percent share for EVs in the province this year, although it's not clear how close automakers would be using the credit formula. The province's EV tax credits will remain in place to help boost sales, and will likely keep Quebec as the top EV market in Canada for some time.