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Automaker groups push for greater clarity on ZEV mandate

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Representatives from Canada’s major automaker associations are calling for more efforts to help Canadians invest in zero-emission vehicles.

Leaders from the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, Global Automakers of Canada and the Automobile Dealers Association of Canada spoke at a webinar in late June to present a board allowing Canadians to follow the government’s progress as we move closer to the mandate to ban the sale of new fuels cars and light trucks by 2035.

The groups put issues of affordability and charging infrastructure at the top of the list.

Billions of dollars have been invested by automakers, observed Brian Kingston, president and CEO of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association.

“We know there are challenges to help Canadians go electric. And survey after survey by industry, governments and other research organizations shows the same challenges that Canadians are concerned about,” he said. “First, the upfront costs of an electric vehicle, and second, they have real concerns about the charging infrastructure, particularly if they’re not able to charge their vehicle at home and will depend on our charging infrastructure.”

What the groups have done is take a look at each province and figure out where each stands on charging infrastructure, incentives and what needs to be done to meet the government’s 2035 target.

Kingston pointed out that Canadians don’t have options close to what you see in the United States where consumers can get over $12,000 (depending on the level and taking into account the exchange rate). In Canada, the federal government offers $5,000 and only British Columbia and Quebec offer additional incentives at the provincial level.

“So your maximum amount available to the majority of Canadians is $5,000. And that just won’t be enough,” he said.

“If we’re going to ask consumers to essentially take more money out of their pockets for an electrified vehicle, at least some of that, and ideally a lot of it, has to be offset by vehicle incentives.”

Incentives are the most powerful tool available, Kingston noted, especially when inflation hurts customers’ purchasing power.

“Canadians are facing an affordability crisis, we need to help them go electric and accept that incentives are the most powerful tool available,” he said.

David Adams, president and CEO of Global Automakers of Canada, agrees.

“If we’re going to ask consumers to essentially take more money out of their pockets for an electrified vehicle, then at least some of that, and ideally a lot of it, has to be offset by vehicle incentives,” he said. -he declares. .

The groups say 1.6 million chargers will be needed for Canadians to make the switch, but that doesn’t even include those who live in multi-unit buildings or don’t have a garage.

“It’s not just a dealer transition. It’s not just a transition of manufacturers. This is not a transition of the auto industry and consumers. It’s a whole societal transition,” said Huw Williams, spokesperson for the Automobile Dealers Association of Canada. “And I can tell you that dealers and manufacturers are doing everything to make sure that this transformation of transfer in the automotive sector goes as smoothly as possible. But we certainly need partners for that.