Earlier this week, the Québec National Assembly unanimously adopted Bill 104, a zero-emission vehicle standard. Automakers that sell or lease a yearly average of more than 4,500 new vehicles (all light models combined) will be subject to the ZEV standard.
In its 2015-2020 Transportation Electrification Action Plan, Québec set a target of 100,000 registered plug-in vehicles by 2020. The bill gives the Government of Québec the powers it needs to require car manufacturers to sell a minimum of zero-emission vehicles through a tradable credit system.
Starting with 2018 models, automakers will be required to meet a ZEV sales target that is set by the government and transposed into credits. The target will be calculated by applying a percentage to the total number of light vehicles each manufacturer sells in Québec. The credit requirement will therefore vary from one manufacturer to another.
Every sale or lease of a ZEV recognized by the Minister will earn the manufacturer a number of credits based on the vehicle’s electric range. The greater the range, the greater the number of credits earned by the manufacturer, which in turn will reduce the number of ZEV sales the manufacturer will need to reach its target. The goal of the ZEV standard is to incentivize automobile manufacturers to build more models and use increasingly efficient low-carbon technology.
Small manufacturers not subject to the standard, as well as high-performance automakers, will also be able to benefit financially from selling their excess credits to other manufacturers. Those manufacturers will have the option of purchasing credits to avoid paying the regulatory charges set out in the regulation or hold the credits for their future needs.
Automakers will be able to accumulate credits for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 model-year vehicles, without regulatory requirements, and use those credits for compliance purposes in subsequent years. The government gave itself the power to regulate the use of deferred credits in order to ensure that its objectives are achieved.
The definitive text of the Act specifies that vehicles that are reconditioned by automakers and registered in Québec for the first time will be eligible for credits if they meet prescribed regulatory conditions.
All operational parameters, including the credit percentages required by category of automaker, formulas for calculating credits associated with each type of vehicle, requirements for re-conditioned vehicles, rules for using credits as well as the information required when reporting will be specified in the forthcoming regulation.
In the view of David Heurtel, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, by enabling Québec consumers to have access to a broader range of plug-in vehicles, the new Act will give further impetus to electric vehicle purchases in Québec.
The inclusion of vehicles that are reconditioned by automakers and registered in Québec for the first time in the list of targeted vehicles will ensure the availability of lower-cost vehicles, thereby giving all Québécois, especially low-income households, an opportunity to participate in greening Québec’s car population through a purchase that is in keeping with their values, while at the same time promoting responsible consumption.
Québec joins the ten U.S. states, including California and several northeastern states, representing one third of the American market, that have already adopted ZEV standards. Their experience demonstrates that the ZEV offer has increased and has resulted in a drop in prices for this type of vehicle.
Through the Green Fund, the revenue of which derives mainly from the carbon market, and the 2013-2020 CCAP, the Québec government offers consumers who decide to purchase an electric vehicle a rebate of up to $8,000. The government also offers grants for the purchase and installation of charging stations, both at home and at work. These measures, together with the ZEV standards, reserved lanes and other incentives, will help achieve the objective of the 2015-2020 TEAP, i.e., having 100,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on Quebec’s roads by 2020.
Now that the Bill has been adopted, a draft regulation for automakers will be tabled shortly for public consultation.