Canada’s Electric Vehicles
Written by: Julian Knight
Edited by: Ada Collins
Canada is an intimidating country to travel throughout. Because of the sheer size of the nation, transportation between provinces and cities can be challenging. Like most of North America, quality public transportation is essentially limited to city centres. Furthermore, railway networks in Canada are not nearly as extensive and affordable as their European counterparts. As a result, Canadians are limited to a few forms of transportation that are reliable, sustainable, and that integrate well within the Canadian lifestyle. This article will examine the state of the electric vehicle industry, in particular, the measures taken by Canadian and provincial governments to stimulate the industry.
According to the federal government, transportation is the second largest source of GHG emissions in the nation. In 2019, the Incentives for Zero Emissions Program (iZEV) was launched to incentivize Canadian citizens to purchase zero-emission vehicles (Transport Canada, 2022). The level of incentives for iZEVs depends on two main criteria: the price of the vehicle (at point of sale) and the type of vehicle (hybrid or fully electric) (Transport Canada, 2022). Fully electric vehicles are eligible for up to $5,000 from the government, whereas buyers of hybrid cars are eligible for half of that. Furthermore, EV’s under $60,000 are considered eligible (Transport Canada, 2022). The incentive, in the form of subsidies based on the total selling price of the vehicle, is applied at the point of sale.
In addition, Natural Resources Canada manages the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). In 2019, the government concluded that the nation did not have the proper infrastructure to support the projected increase in the number of EVs used by citizens (Natural Resources Canada, 2023). A total of $680 million was invested in that year, and more recent government budgets have recapitalized the program (Natural Resources Canada, 2023). The fund is allocated to non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, and indigenous organizations that administer or use charging stations. By 2029, Transport Canada predicts that 85,000 charging stations for EVs will be deployed (Natural Resources Canada, 2023). With the development of Canada’s EV refuelling network and technological innovation in rapid-charging batteries, electric vehicle refuelling may one day compete with gas stations in terms of reliability and ease.
Governments have a history of supporting the automotive industry with taxpayer money. With the shift in the automotive sector towards electric car production, the Canadian and provincial governments are now investing in firms that do different forms of manufacturing, R&D, advertising, etc. Thus, there has been a push for investment in the industry in recent years. For instance, Quebec Premier François Legault and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at the end of September that Northvolt, a Swedish battery manufacturing giant, will be building a battery plant on Montreal’s South Shore (Shingler, 2023). The firm is expected to have an annual battery cell manufacturing capacity of up to 60 gigawatt-hours, which can power up to one million electric vehicles. Up to $1.7 billion in taxpayer money will be used to help support the massive project (Shingler, 2023). Our governments have also invested in electric automobile manufacturers. In August, for example, Quebec City and Ottawa announced an investment of $640 million into a Ford EV plant in Bécancour, Quebec (Shingler, 2023). Given that government purchases are funded by taxpayers’ incomes, there has been a significant amount of backlash surrounding the governments’ funding decisions. Nevertheless, experts argue that investment is necessary to compete with the cut-throat international competition (Shingler, 2023).
In conclusion, the electric vehicle industry in Canada is growing at a rapid pace, namely thanks to the notable amounts of government aid. When it comes to transportation, Canadians are often most comfortable with driving. The electric vehicle industry in Canada is thus growing at a rapid pace, namely thanks to the growing demand for electric vehicles from citizens who are concerned with their environmental impact. The industry also sees tremendous growth thanks to public aid for both the EV industry and EV users. As Canadians become increasingly concerned with sustainability and personal emissions, they will be more inclined to purchase EVs as they are becoming the most efficient, comfortable and familiar option. It is apparent that as the EV industry continues to innovate and address the evolving needs of consumers, the industry will maintain its role in shaping the future of transportation, fostering a cleaner and greener environment for all.
Natural Resources Canada. (2023). Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program. Retrieved from
Government of Canada Website. https://natural-resources.canada.ca/energy-efficiency/transportation-alternative-fuels/zero-emission-vehicle-infrastructure-program/21876
Shingler, Benjamin. (2023). ‘Canada is pouring billions of dollars into the electric vehicle industry.
Will it pay off?’. CBC News. Retrieved from Website.
Transport Canada. (2022). Light duty zero-emission vehicles. Retrieved from Government of Canada