Auto associations keep up pressure on ZEV mandates with press event

The leaders of Canada’s automotive industry associations descended on Ottawa yesterday and held a joint press conference to express their concerns over the timelines and lack of progress on helping Canadians navigate the road to vehicle electrification, ahead of the federal government’s mandates to only allow the sales of electric vehicles by 2035.  

They are calling their initiative “Countdown to 2035,” which puts a spotlight on the lack of public charging infrastructure that is needed to achieve Canada’s ZEV sales targets. The initiative was developed by the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), the Global Automakers of Canada (GAC) and the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA). 

“As the Federal Government’s ZEV aspirations start to meet market realities around the country, the Countdown to 2035 will provide valuable information and insights as to what is required, where and at what pace,” said Tim Reuss, President and CEO of the CADA, in a press release. 

He added that Canadians need federal action to have better and more reliable charging infrastructure, along with support for purchasing ZEVs in every segment of the market.

CADA said achieving the mandated sales target “depends on widespread, convenient, and reliable” public charging options. In other words, more than 100 public chargers must come online every day for the next 11 years to close the gap between meeting the 2035 ZEV sales target and ensuring there are enough charging options available to consumers. 

In remarks delivered during the press conference, Reuss expressed concerns that lack of government action is slowing down the adoption of electric vehicles. Reuss said until vehicle affordability and charging infrastructure gaps are addressed, Canadians can’t be expected to fully embrace the move to vehicle electrification. 

“The data presented by ‘Countdown to 2035’ not only shows how woefully short we are falling in meeting those needs, but also how nonsensical and counterproductive recent decisions by some provinces to curtail their purchase incentives are,” he said.

David Adams, President and CEO of GAC, said consumers will ultimately decide whether a ZEV works for their lifestyle or not, and that the industry needs them to buy the vehicles. 

“There are three key factors to broader ZEV adoption which are, the consumer, the consumer and the consumer,” said Adams. “Make no mistake, the industry needs Canadians to purchase ZEVs. Governments need to be making this choice easier for Canadians and not more difficult, such as the unilateral measures made last week by the B.C. government to severely restrict EV purchase incentives for BC consumers. This is counterproductive to the goal of greater EV adoption.”

“Canadians cannot be mandated to purchase electric vehicles without first providing them with the ability to conveniently charge their vehicles no matter where they live,” said Brian Kingston, President and CEO of the CVMA, in a statement.

The Countdown to 2035 is part of a larger initiative meant to help consumers and political leaders better understand what is needed to succeed in the shift to zero-emission vehicles. Visit for more details.

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