Electric cars

Even Canada will ban the sale of gasoline cars before the United States

Even Canada will ban the sale of gasoline cars before the United States

A Canadian highway winding through the mountains.

Tracking Planet Earth: Canada Raises Emissions Targets.
Photo: Robyn Beck (Getty Images)

I’m new here, but I heard that there is a certain rivalry between Americans and Canadians, right? I imagine it’s similar to how the rest of the world knows it’s better than the UK. So how about a little cross-country rivalry to spice up your day? Even Canada has more ambitious emissions targets than the United States.

Yeah, Canada. Let it sink in.

As the United States grapples with electric vehicle tax credits and state-by-state emissions regulations, other countries are getting their act together.

In the European Union, countries will ban the sale of petrol cars in 2035, giving manufacturers more than 10 years to sort through their electrical ranges. Meanwhile, the UK and the Netherlands have gone a step (or five) further by announcing their intention to abolish the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030and hybrids by 2035.

And now Canada has jumped on the bandwagon by announcing that it too will end gas-powered car sales in 2035.

According to the Canadian government, a sales mandate will be put in place to “ensure that at least 20% of new light vehicle sales will be zero emission vehicles by 2026.” This figure will increase to 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.

A man plugs his electric car into a charging cable.

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Photo: Jean-Francois Monier (Getty Images)

Lawmakers north of the border are also targeting medium and heavy vehicles in the new regulations, but not in the same drastic way.

For such vehicles, Canada will require 35% of medium and heavy-duty vehicles sold to be zero-emissions by 2030. In addition, a certain “subset of vehicle types based on feasibility” will be required to be 100% zero-emissions by 2040.

But what this subset of vehicles is, Canada has not said.

In addition to these bans, Canada has increased its support for new EV buyers, as the cost of a new electric car is often much higher than its gasoline counterpart. As such, the Canadian government announced additional funding of C$400 million ($320 million) for zero-emission vehicle charging stations and pledged C$1.7 billion ($1.4 billion ) to extend incentives to zero-emission vehicles.

Meanwhile, here in the land of the free, automakers practically beg feds to extend tax credits for electric vehicles. Loans which, currently, don’t even apply to all EV manufacturers.

And what about the future of gas-powered cars here in the house of the brave? Well, that doesn’t seem to be under threat anytime soon.

Photo of traffic on a street in New York.

New York is one of 12 states planning to ban gas-powered car sales.
Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)

Sure, 12 states have jumped in to try to get gasoline cars off the road, but at the federal level, the response has been muted at best. States like California, New York, Hawaii, North Carolina and Oregon would all like to stop selling gas-powered cars by 2035.

But, if you live in one of those states and really want a new combustion engine car, it’s not much effort to hop into a neighboring state that still sells them.

If America is serious about its fight to reduce emissions and reduce global temperature rise, then it must take this seriously.

America needs strong electric vehicle charging infrastructure, support to make electric vehicles more affordable for people who actually depend on their cars for work, and it needs to start stemming the sale of gasoline cars.

Come on, America.