The Canadian government has introduced two new programs, with a combined total of C$35 million in funding, to help Canadians choose more eco-friendly vehicles.
The C$21-million ecoENERGY for Personal Vehicles program will provide fuel consumption information and decision-making tools such as vehicle labels, guides and interactive websites, to encourage consumers to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles that are currently available in the market.
The program will provide the resources to support the work with the vehicle industry through the voluntary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and result in improved fuel efficiency in new vehicles and reduced emissions. The target for the MOU is to realize a 5.3-megatonne reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year from light-duty vehicle use by 2010.
Improvements to fuel efficiency achieved through this agreement will provide a foundation for the regulations that will come into force for the 2011 model year.
Training in fuel-efficient driving will continue to be offered to new drivers, and Canadians will be encouraged to change their driving habits through ongoing and new activities with partners across Canada.
Estimated emissions reductions from all activities in the ecoENERGY for Personal Vehicles Initiative will be 5.4 megatonnes of GHGs, equivalent in energy savings to taking approximately 950,000 cars off the road.
The C$15 million ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program will involve purchasing and testing a range of advanced technologies—including hydrogen, advanced electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles—and showcasing them at public events across Canada.
More specifically, the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program will:
Evaluate the fuel-efficiency, emissions and safety performance of advanced technology vehicles;
Identify opportunities and market potential for the introduction and use of advanced technology vehicles;
Identify barriers to the introduction and use of advanced technology vehicles and recommending solutions; and
Raise public awareness of advanced technology vehicles.
Preliminary government estimates suggest that the program will result in a reduction in the order of 500 kilotonnes (kt) of greenhouse gas reductions in 2010, as well as reductions of air toxics such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and ammonia.
Road vehicles are a major contributor to domestic air pollution and the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. The goal of the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program is to test the effectiveness and safety of advanced environmental technologies for vehicles, share our results with Canadians and help them make informed decisions about the cars they buy.—Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Through these programs, Canada’s New Government will work with the auto industry to make new vehicles more fuel-efficient. Together, these programs will play an important role in helping the auto industry to achieve the 5.3 megatonne reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions from light duty vehicles in Canada. The industry has agreed to pursue this target between now and 2010, following which new fuel consumption regulations will come into effect for the 2011 model year.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared in a speech last week that Canada will regulate the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles for the first time, beginning with the 2011 model year. (Earlier post.)
Natural Resources Canada also released the 2007 Fuel Consumption Guide and the 2007 EnerGuide winners for the most fuel-efficient new vehicles sold in Canada.
Consumers can use the 2007 Fuel Consumption Guide to compare the fuel consumption ratings and carbon dioxide emissions of passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in Canada. The guide is available from participating new-vehicle dealerships, most motor vehicle licence agency offices, participating Credit Union offices across Canada, participating Caisses populaires et d’économie Desjardins in Quebec, and participating Canadian Automobile Association offices across Canada, or online at www.vehicles.gc.ca.
(A hat-tip to Bob!)