Light-duty vehicles


Mobility for work, shopping, social activities, recreation

GHG emissions

13% of Canadian emissions (54% of transportation emissions), plus the emissions generated in the oil and gas sector to produce this gasoline

Options for decarbonization

Electric vehicles; hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

Stage of transition

Electric vehicles: early diffusion phase; Fuel cell: emergence

Nature of the problem today

Up-front costs of zero-emission vehicles; limited charging/refuelling infrastructure;
resistance by established manufacturers (supply)

Other systemic issues

Air and noise pollution, costs of ownership, traffic congestion, car-dependent land-use patterns

Opportunities and concerns

For users: reductions in fuel costs, reduced maintenance, reduced total cost of ownership, enhanced vehicle performance. For communities: reduced air pollution.

Economic development: business opportunities in the EV value chain; being prepared for vehicle connectivity and automation

Risks: decline in existing Canadian auto sector if sufficient investment in EV value chain fails to materialize

Priorities for action

Subsidies for EV purchases; infrastructure investment for charging; government fleet and procurement standards; zero-emission vehicle standards; gasoline/diesel phaseout date; measures to ensure charging at multi-unit residential buildings; building code adjustments. Strategic intervention to build out supply chain for zero-emission transport manufacture

Longer-term issues

Managing grid integration; complementary technologies, smart charging, vehicle to grid, advanced materials; integration with other approaches including: active mobility, public transit, mobility as a service and connected and autonomous vehicles

Indicators of progress

Percent of zero emission vehicle sales; infrastructure build out; value-added in zero emission vehicle production

Assessement table: Light-duty vehicles

Electric Vehicle

Battery electric

Plug in hybrid electric

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Hydrogen Fuel Cell


Blended with gasoline

100% ethanol

Natural gas

Compressed or liquified NG

Renewable NG (biogas)

Synthetic NG (power from decarbonized sources, carbon from biomass or air capture)

Gasoline hybrids

Gasoline engine with battery storage and regenerative braking

Synthetic gasoline

Energy from zero carbon sources, carbon from bio or air capture