Toronto, ON — Canada’s new Electric Vehicle (EV) Availability Standard, announced today by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault, has significant potential to mitigate climate change and improve air quality and health for Canadians.
The new regulation would require auto manufacturers and importers to meet annual electric vehicle sales targets, increasing annually to at least 60% of sales by 2030 and 100% by 2035, and providing options for Canadians who wish to purchase EVs.
The cumulative carbon reduction impacts of an EV Availability Standard have been estimated at 430 megatonnes, which would deliver excellent progress toward federal climate targets.
“Beyond emissions reductions, and delivering lifetime ownership cost savings to vehicle owners, TAF’s analysis of the government’s proposed electric vehicle sales regulation shows staggering value from a health perspective,” says Julia Langer, CEO of The Atmospheric Fund (TAF).
Implementation of the EV Availability Standard will dramatically reduce transportation sector emissions of criteria air contaminants. These pollutants are associated with adverse health effects such as premature mortality, increased hospitalizations, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and other chronic respiratory diseases.
Earlier this year, analysis by TAF indicated that this regulation would result in over $90 billion in health benefits for Canadians over the next 25 years, including up to 11,000 avoided premature deaths.
According to a recent survey done by the Canadian Lung Association, more than a third of Canadians are reporting that outdoor air quality is having a direct impact on their health. At a time when Canada’s healthcare system is under extreme pressure, this standard is needed now more than ever. “These regulations are an important step in mitigating the tremendous impact of traffic-related air pollution on the lung health of Canadians,” said Sarah Butson, Senior Director, Public Affairs, the Canadian Lung Association.
“Climate change is the greatest health threat we face, and solving the climate crisis is our greatest health opportunity,” says Dr. Samantha Green, president-elect of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. “Air pollution is responsible for one in seven premature deaths in Canada, and tackling emissions related to personal vehicles will have tremendous immediate health benefits.”
Additional endorsement for the regulations came from Asthma Canada, Canadian Public Health Association, Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, and Canadian Nurses Association.
Notes to Editors
The EV Availability Standard was formerly known as the Zero Emissions Vehicle sales targets. Analysis of this regulation uses Health Canada’s benefits per tonne (BPTs) metrics to monetize the criteria air contaminant health impacts (see Health Benefits Per Tonne of Air Pollutant Emissions Reduction, Health Canada). Health Canada limits the use of these BPTs to estimate the benefits of reducing air pollution across two mega regions: southwestern British Columbia (SWBC) and the Windsor-Quebec City Corridor (WQCC) (see Air Quality, Public Health Ontario). These BPTs and a series of criteria air contaminant emission factors are then applied to the estimated annual gasoline fuel savings associated with new EV passenger automobile and light truck sales (see Air pollution: drivers and impacts, Environment and Climate Change Canada).