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Québec issues final regulations for ZEV mandate; in effect 11 January 2018; targeting ~10% ZEVs and LEVs by 2025

Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment, and the Fight Against Climate Change Isabelle Melançon has issued the final regulations in support of Bill 104 – An Act to increase the number of zero-emission motor vehicles in Québec in order to reduce greenhouse gas and other pollutant emissions. (Earlier post.) Québec is the first Canadian province to adopt a ZEV mandate. As of today, close to half the Canadian ZEV fleet is located in Québec, which non-coincidentally has the largest public charging network in the country.

The National Assembly unanimously adopted the Act to increase the number of ZEVs on 26 October 2016. Following the example of 10 US states, including California and several northeastern states, Québec has thus assumed the power to adopt the ZEV standard. In the wake of the adoption of the Act, two draft regulations were published in the Gazette officielle du Québec on 5 July 2017, and the Cabinet approved the attendant regulations on 13 December 2017. The ZEV standard is part of an array of initiatives, in particular those stemming from the 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change and the 2015-2020 Transportation Electrification Action Plan (PAET 2015-2020), which has set a target of 100 000 plug-in vehicles registered by 2020.

The standard will come into force on 11 January 2018. The automakers subject to it must accumulate credits by obtaining zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) or low-emission vehicles (LEVs) on the Québec market. The credit target is calculated by applying a percentage to the total number of light-duty vehicles that each automaker sells in Québec. The credit requirement thus varies from one automaker to the next.

Each sale or lease of a ZEV recognized by the Minister earns credits, the number of which varies according to the vehicle’s electric range. The greater the range, the greater the number of credits that the automaker earns, which consequently reduces the number of ZEVs that it must sell to meet its credit target. The purpose of the ZEV standard is thus to spur the automobile market to develop greater numbers of models that rely on increasingly efficient low-carbon technologies. The percentage of mandatory credits will be calculated on the basis of the total number of new vehicles sold or leased in Québec and manufacturers will start earning credits with model year 2018.

Looking to the future, the government anticipates that by 2025, ZEV and LEV sales and leases will account for approximately 10% of the market. Major automakers—those that sell or lease more than 20,000 vehicles in Québec annually—will need to earn a specified percentage of credits based exclusively on ZEV models, starting in 2020.

Manufacturers which do not achieve their target will be required to purchase credits from other automakers that have excess credits available, or pay a fee to the government. Income will be paid to the Green Fund and used to support climate change projects, particularly those aimed at greening the vehicle fleet.

While the Québec standard in large part follows current ZEV standards in 10 US states and provides the automobile industry with normative continuity on both sides of the border, one difference is that Québec regulations also permit vehicles that have been upgraded by carmakers and licensed for the first time in Québec to qualify for credits. This measure was included in the standard in order to make it possible for low-income households to also choose zero-emission vehicles.

The ZEV standard will change the business model of Québec automobile dealerships. Recognizing the importance of maintaining a dialogue process with key players in the transition to a greener vehicle fleet, the government also announced the creation of a committee the mandate of which will be to monitor the evolution of this dossier.

The committee, jointly led by the Corporation des concessionnaires automobile du Québec (CCAQ) and the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC), will also rely on the expertise of the Coalition zéro émission Québec (CZÉQ) and Steven Guilbeault, Cofounder and Senior Director of Équiterre, who will represent environmental groups.



The current (1) all weather limited range and slow charging of most BEVs (2) lack of very quick charge public facilities and (3) very high price of qualifying BEVs, like the TESLA Model S100D at over $125K CAN, are the main factors keeping sales low.

Interim PHEVs have better sales stats but they are using liquid fossil fuel and producing pollution and GHGs?

Improved (3X to 5X) lower cost batteries are required.


You chose the most expensive EV as your example. There are plenty of less expensive ones available and soon coming. The Quebec government is also incentivising the expansion of high speed charging. Quebec has the added advantage of the cheapest hydro based power in North America.


The rare (if not the only current BEV) with all weather extended range and quick charge possibilities was picked because others do not qualify.

Short range (100 to 200 Km) BEVs were disqualified because they are not practical and/or unsafe for use in our very cold snowy area. Haven seen one of those on the roads since late November.

Lower cost long range FCEVs would qualify but lack of or non-availability of local H2 stations disqualified them.

Brian P

In what way do you not consider the Chevrolet Bolt to not "qualify"?

Thomas Lankester

Harvey, in what way do you consider the Renault ZOE 40 to not qualify?

Sheldon A Harrison

No current EV available, including the P100D is acceptable under sub freezing conditions for extended range operations. You can safely cut 100 miles or more off the stated 300+ mile range, especially when the heater is being used as well. Add snow and ice and it gets even worse. The Bolt, Leaf, Zoe etc. are woefully insufficient and would struggle to get even 150 miles under -10 to -20 degree celcius conditions or lower. It is exacerbated by the long charge time to full even when using DC fast charging.


Harvey and sheldon arent crazy, it's more of a life or death situation.ICEs with near 70% waste heat have a hard time keeping windows clear or passengers comfortable in some situations.

Range can plummet in the cold for several reasons for BEVs, cabin heat, battery's capability in the cold, defrosting.

A rear defrost grid on a an ice car is 500w or more. Without sufficient cabin heat, this need becomes more, even more for the front windscreen.

I think passengers will tolerate only so much to drive thier zev, that's why Harvey's points are valid.

If i had a 50mile round trip, i wouldn't want anything less than 200mile range in the cold. In Canada outside of the cities, you'll need even more range because of longer trips



After nursing a low range 2011 Nissan Leaf for 6 years, it has been painful. I certainly agree and advise others to lease low-range EVs...don't buy anything less than 200 miles brand new.


It's just a matter of time before cheap electric cars breach the 300mile range mark.

Even still, fuel cells have been seeing some interesting breakthroughs. Places with more than one season might just be the playground for FCs in the coming years.

FCs might struggle too, same as batteries with the cold, a typical stack might only have 23kw of heating potential at full tilt operation. Or more likely 2.3kw running down the road. In extreme environment it might be barely enough to keep occupants comfortable.

They could add special cooling loops, and heat pumps to maximize the heat to passengers. But the stack itself has to stay warm too, same for the battery and other temperature sensitive systems.

Lad, i can only imagine your pain. How's your range after 6years? The leaf, has been known to suffer some range loss.

Definitely mind your warranties, your battery falls under emission equipment, and if you're in certain states, that makes it easy for you to take legal action. I think even Canada has something similar too.


Seems to me that when it becomes more cost effective to run on batteries than burn gasoline then all vehicles will load up with as much battery power as feasible and build models with a small range extender,(ice or fuel cell) where required. If you believe Tesla's promo for its semi, then that day is not far off.


I arrived at client this morning at 0730 with the car's thermometer reading -18C. In my 2012 Leaf this would have been a 55-60km range day if I were to maintain a barely tolerable interior temp and an occasional swiping of foggy glass. The '13 Volt I drive now is getting about 3km/kWh while keeping me nominally comfortable and the windows clear, and that WITH some help from the engine. (In the 30-odd days of deepest winter temps the Volt is markedly MORE expensive to operate than a pure ICE of equivalent size and performance, and certainly not nearly as good as a Prius. So was my Leaf, actually -- UCS average figures be damned. Wind producton on most of these days is de minimus and good old Coal is the predominant source.)

In northernmost climes BEVs have some serious challenges, and for God's sake don't any Tesla fanbois start with the "what about Norway" business. When a country has shorter average psgr-km, exemptions from a gigantic confiscatory vehicle tariff, massive fuel taxes, abundant hydropower, and a laundry list of special privileges bestowed on buyers of US$120k+ automobiles, yes, the most expensive and highest-range EVs make sense.


Herman and other posters:

Please appreciate that TESLAs, equipped with 100kWh battery pack, rightly used in Norway and many parts of cold Canada, are (for the moment), about the only pure BEVs that can handle our very cold weather while keeping drivers and passengers in relative comfort.

PHEVs could be an acceptable compromise but they use liquid fuel, pollute and create GHGs after a few Kms on very cold, windy, snowy days.

With extended very cold waves and more wind and snow since early December 2017, effective range of most other short range BEVs are reduced by 45% to 65% depending on traffic density.


HD, maybe I wasn't clear, but I AGREE with you.


H... sorry if I missed your intended points.

Our extended family is presently using Toyota's HEVs because of their low cost (1/5 of a TESLA S-100D), very good all weather performance, high quality and do not have to be charged/recharged.

Our next purchases (around 2020) will probably be lower cost more affordable TESLAs 150D (or equivalent extended range, all weather BEVs) or Toyotas FCEVs (or equivalent FCEVs) when H2 stations become more widely available.


I'm not a Quebecer so this doesn't effect me and as I live on the west coast cold weather range isn't that big of an issue. My problem is different - I need my BEV "toad" capable. For those who don't know, a toad is a car you tow behind a RV with all 4 wheels on the ground. A Tesla can't be towed like that, it has to be put on a trailer. Get into an accident and you have to call a flatbed. Other EVs can only be towed with the driven wheels on a dolly.

Brian P

^ That isn't really an EV issue, that's a consequence of modern ABS and stability control and remote-start systems etc pandering to the lowest common denominator. Remember the GM ignition-switch debacle? Accidentally turning off the ignition switch killed all electrical power to the car just like in the old days ... including disabling airbags, stability control, ABS, etc. Now, the car has to automatically shift into park if the owner "forgets" so that it doesn't roll away down a hill, the various safety systems never really switch fully off in case someone accidentally kills the ignition switch while driving, etc.

On an old car (especially one with manual transmission) you could leave the key in the ignition but turned off, to unlock the steering while having all the electrical systems off, and shift to neutral, release the parking brake, and away you go.

There's nothing about an EV to mechanically stop it from being in "neutral" - motor spinning but not doing anything - but good luck with convincing the safety systems in the vehicle to be okay with this!


Yeah, some of the safety features are getting a bit creative. Most of them are made obsolete by a well trained driver. (but most drivers aren't trained, or capable)

I much rather have a hybrid tow vehicle, and a trailer. Which is why i am thankful the F150 and it's platform mate is getting the battery treatment. Hopefully it's in house and not magna, or a similar last stitch effort. If it had 30mile ev range, then it would be great for towing, especially with regen brakes.

The ZEV credits should be interesting, I don't know if I am opposed yet, I don't know how they do thier metrics. Full line makers certainly have much more to lose than let's say an exotic maker. 10% would be hard for Ford and Fiat to hit in Canada, probably honda too. I don't want auto makers to scramble to ZEV cars, i want well thought out models.


The current long early cold wave extends much further South this winter and almost half of USA's States are being hit.

It is like a reversed climate change during the last 25+ days. The Jet Stream goes much further South.

Short range BEV users have major difficulties to cope with it.


The current cold wave doesn't extend to Moscow.  Current temperature in Moscow is above freezing.

What's happening is that the polar vortex is weakened due to greenhouse gases killing the outgoing radiation, and the cold polar air now wanders wherever the jet stream takes it.

That means it's dumping lake-effect snow on me.


Got E-P with a few added Ks...

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