Montreal

Quebec electric car quota 'unrealistic,' car manufacturers, dealers say

Car manufacturers and dealership owners in Canada say they feel directly targeted by a new Quebec government bill setting a minimum quota on electric cars.

Couillard government tables bill to set minimum quota at 15.5% of all car sales by 2025

Charles Hammer, the owner of Uptown Volvo, says Quebec's bill is 'something that's been done by a bunch of dreamers.' (CBC)

Car manufacturers and dealership owners in Canada say they feel directly targeted by a new Quebec government bill setting a minimum sales quota on electric cars.

Environment Minister David Heurtel tabled the bill at the National Assembly on Thursday, setting the minimum quota at 15.5 per cent of all car sales by 2025.

The bill, if passed, would set up a credit system with car manufacturers for each electric vehicle they sell or lease. They risk being fined if the quota is not met.

That's something the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association says isn't fair.

"You can regulate supply of vehicles by whatever means, but that will not guarantee demand for these vehicles," its president, Mark Nantais, said.

"Regulating at this point in time is unnecessary and will have negative consequences ultimately."

Nantais says the bill will restrict which cars manufacturers sell, and that will hurt the consumers.

"This is an approach that is heavy handed," he said.

'Unrealistic' quota

Charles Hammer, the owner of Uptown Volvo in Côte-des-Neiges, says the 15.5 per cent quota is not feasible.

He compares Quebec's quota to sales by the popular all-electric car company Tesla.

"You're looking for 45,000 cars in Quebec alone which is Tesla's global sales," he said.

"It's totally unrealistic. This is something that's been done by a bunch of dreamers."

Hammer says he thinks the bill is an attempt to collect more taxes from a small minority, the car dealers and manufacturers.

"It's not very equitable," he said.

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