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Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative

In its strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the Government of Canada commits to “Making clean, affordable transportation and power available in every community”, and in April 2021, Government increased its targets for emissions reductions under the Paris Agreement to 40-45% below 2005 levels.

Transportation accounts for about 25% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Driving down transportation emissions is critical to achieving the Government’s more ambitious climate change commitments and is consistent with the global shift toward zero-emission vehicles. That is why the Government of Canada has set a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales to be zero-emission by 2035, accelerating Canada’s previous goal of 100 percent sales by 2040.

The Government has already invested over $1 billion to support increased zero-emission vehicle adoption. However, to ensure Canada gets to this goal, and to provide certainty about the pathway to get there, the Government will pursue a combination of investments and regulations to help Canadians and industry in this transition.

ZEVs are vehicles that can be driven without producing polluting exhaust, and include fully battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Given that ZEVs are “fuelled” and maintained differently, Canadians often lack direct exposure to how they work, and proof that a ZEV can provide an equal or better driving experience and value when compared with a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle.

Nationwide surveys consistently show that this lack of awareness, knowledge and public confidence in ZEVs is a key barrier to adoption on a wider scale. Therefore, addressing gaps in ZEV knowledge and experience for consumers and businesses is critical to supporting Canadians through the decision making process to purchasing a ZEV.

To address these challenges, Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI) supports projects that aim to increase awareness, knowledge and public confidence in ZEVs and public charging and refueling infrastructure. ZEVAI helps fund outreach, education and capacity-building activities, ultimately enabling greater adoption of ZEVs by Canadians in all regions of the country, including the North, Prairie Provinces, Atlantic Canada and on a national scale.

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