A new piece of legislation would make Quebec the first province in Canada to mandate a minimum number of zero-emission vehicle deliveries by auto manufacturers.
“Environment Minister David Heurtel says the goal is to increase the number of plug-in vehicles offered to consumers in the province,” CTV reports. “Manufacturers would have to accumulate credits by selling or leasing new electric vehicles or by acquiring credits from another vehicle manufacturer.”
The law, inspired by a similar measure in California, would apply to automakers that sell more than 4,500 cars per year.
Predictably, the industry piled on in response.
“While our members support electric vehicle technology, and are working to educate consumers about electric vehicles through our website,” responded Jacques Béchard, president of the Corporation des concessionaires automobiles du Québec (CCAQ), “forcing electric vehicles onto dealer lots does not mean that consumers will purchase them.” The CCAQ represents 850 new car dealers.
“There are better ways to improve electric vehicle penetration which focus on creating consumer demand and understanding of the benefits of the technology, and our view is that this is best done collaboratively with government,” said Mark Nantais, President of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association.
(Béchard and Nantais may have missed the 276,000 customers who put down US$1,000 deposits for Tesla Motors’ Model 3 electric car, within days of a splashy media reveal March 31.)
“While there are obvious impacts on manufacturers from such legislation—especially those that do not currently have electric vehicles in their vehicle portfolios—the impact on dealers and consumers could be more dramatic in terms of financing inventories and overall availability of a broad range of vehicles that meet the needs of consumers,” said David Adams, president of Global Automakers of Canada.
Not that Huertel’s announcement came as a complete surprise. Quebec made it clear last October that it wanted to see 100,000 EVs on Quebec roads by 2020. (h/t to Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace Canada for first pointing us to this story)