Montreal

Quebec to ban sale of new gas-powered vehicles as of 2035

The Quebec government will unveil its green economy plan on Monday. A ban on the sale of new gas-powered vehicles as of 2035 is expected to be a major part of it.

Less than 2 per cent of vehicles on Quebec roads are electric

The province is set to announce a ban on the sale of new, personal-use, gas-powered vehicles that would take effect in 2035. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

A ban on the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in Quebec as of 2035 stands to be the flagship measure of the Legault government's green economy plan.

The plan, set to be unveiled on Monday, is expected to bank heavily on the electrification of vehicles, which will make up a large portion of the province's $6.7 billion-investment over the next five years to deal with climate change.

Size won't matter, as the ban will target small cars, SUVs, vans and pick-up trucks that are for personal use.

And according to La Presse, which first reported details of the plan, vehicles used for commercial and industrial purposes will be exempt.

The sale of second-hand gas-powered vehicles will still be allowed beyond 2035.

Less than two per cent of the cars and trucks on Quebec's roads are electric or hybrid vehicles, but the government appears confident it can quickly reverse this trend with its ban and by establishing sales quotas for car dealerships to make sure they have enough inventory of electric-powered vehicles.

For now, the government will maintain its Roulez Vert program, a tax rebate for electric cars, but the popular program that provides $8,000 per purchase could be reduced given its current annual cost — $260 million. 

As part of the government's plan, the installation of roadside charging stations would also be sped up.

Quebec would not be the only Canadian province with a ban on gas-powered vehicles, as B.C. passed a law last year to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2040.

Similar bans will take effect in California in 2035, and in Sweden in 2030.

Dany Lemelin, owner of the Boucherville Mitsubishi dealership on Montreal's South Shore, applauds the province's goal but is not yet convinced it's a realistic one. (CBC)

It's in the car manufacturers' hands, says dealership owner

Dany Lemelin, who owns a Mitsubishi dealership in Boucherville, on Montreal's South Shore, applauded the province's objective, but stressed the need for manufacturers to supply enough electric vehicles over the next 15 years in order to make it a reality.

"We all want to shift toward vehicles that are more eco-friendly," Lemelin said. "But on the other hand, there's also a question of feasibility and car manufacturers have to be build enough vehicles."

He said California's decision to ban gas-powered vehicles helps in that regard, given the size of its car market.

Lemelin also believes the province should preserve its subsidy for electric cars.

"Quebec accounts for 50 per cent of all Canadian sales," he said. "That's not a coincidence, I think the rebate helps a lot."

With files from Radio-Canada and Valeria Cori-Manocchio

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