Quebec | The sale of gasoline vehicles banned from 2035 - The Canadian
Monday, November 30

Quebec | The sale of gasoline vehicles banned from 2035

(Quebec) The sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles will be banned in Quebec from 2035, reveals Environment Minister Benoit Charette in an interview with The Press. A “big blow” to force the turn towards the electric car and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

Tommy Chouinard
Tommy Chouinard

This measure is part of the Plan for a Green Economy that the Minister will unveil on Monday. It did not appear in the versions of the plan whose Press has unveiled the content in recent months.

As we revealed, the Legault government wants one and a half million electric vehicles to be on the roads of Quebec within 10 years, or nearly 30% of the vehicle fleet. It is thus revising upwards the target which had been set previously for the same period and which stood at 1 million.

On December 31, Quebec had approximately 66,000 registered electric vehicles, barely 1.3% of the vehicle fleet. Quebec reports that there are now close to 20,000 more and that it is expected to reach 95,000 by the end of the year.

There is a long way to go, and Quebec is taking great measures to achieve its objective.


The Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette

From 2035, in Quebec, we will no longer be able to buy gasoline vehicles [dans le marché du neuf]. It will have to be fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment

This is not a simple “wish”, he insists. The Minister intends to modify the “zero emission” law to enshrine the ban on the sale of new gasoline vehicles from 2035. He targets all vehicles “for personal use”: the small compact as the sport utility vehicle (SUV ) and the van. Vehicles that are used for commercial and industrial purposes are excluded.

The measure will not prevent Quebeckers from owning a gasoline car. The second-hand market for these vehicles will be able to continue its activities, but, of course, it is bound to disappear. It will also become completely electric by force of circumstances.

The “zero emission” law provides for quotas obliging car dealers to sell a minimum percentage of electric vehicles. These quotas will be extended and gradually increased.

“The current problem is the waiting times, which are often quite long,” explains Minister Charette. The person who had not planned to change vehicle, but who, overnight, has to do it, if he is told that he will have the electric car only in six or eight months, unfortunately, we come presumably losing her because she can’t wait. ”

Quebec wants to “force manufacturers to make electric vehicles available”. “With our zero emission law and with the obligation [pour 2035], producers will not have the choice of supplying the market, ”he argues.

Subsidy maintained

Quebec will maintain its assistance program for the purchase of an electric vehicle, Roulez vert. The grant is $ 8,000. Ottawa is granting a rebate of $ 5,000.

This program is one of the most costly measures in the Legault government’s green plan: around 260 million per year at present.

Minister Charette reports that the amount of the rebate will not be maintained at $ 8,000 for several years.

I am not in a position to say how long the current amount will be. We can certainly think of an amount that will decrease over the years.

Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment

Quebec is notably waiting to see what Ottawa will do with its own assistance program for the next few years.

The Roulez vert program aims to make the electric vehicle an advantageous choice, while its purchase cost is higher than that of a gasoline car. This cost will decrease over time with technological advancements. “You also have to take into account maintenance and the cost of gasoline,” two factors that make the shift to electric attractive, argues Benoit Charette. Half of the electric vehicles sold in Canada are sold in Quebec.


The government intends to accelerate the deployment of the network of charging stations, an essential condition for ensuring the growth of electric cars.

The government intends to accelerate the deployment of the network of charging stations, an essential condition for ensuring the growth of electric cars.

The importance of “standing out”

Only one other province, British Columbia, has a quota system like Quebec and provides in law to ban the sale of gasoline vehicles, but this measure must apply from 2040. The 2035 deadline is thus “a Canadian first”, notes Minister Charette.

According to him, “the earlier we stand out in this market, the easier our supply will be. Builders and retailers will want, first and foremost, to supply the Quebec market ”.

In Ottawa, the Trudeau government has already said it hopes to end the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2040.

In the United States, California has just decided to ban it from 2035, a major announcement coming from the most populous state in the country. “This is the most effective measure our state can take to fight climate change,” Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom said in September.


Gavin Newsom and François Legault in Sacramento, in December 2019

Prime Minister François Legault had met him last year as part of a mission in California. This state is Québec’s partner in the carbon exchange, the cap and trade system for GHG emission rights.

In Europe, France and England have set the ban for 2040; it will be from 2025 in Norway.

Québec is relying heavily on the electrification of transportation to achieve its objective of reducing Québec’s GHG emissions by 37.5% by 2030 compared to the 1990 level.


Proportion of GHGs emitted in Quebec that are related to the transport sector

Since 1990, emissions from the transport sector have increased by 23%. This is largely the reason why emissions have not decreased in Quebec since 2013 – they even increased slightly in 2017, the most recent report produced by the government. As a result, Quebec reduced its emissions by only 8.7% between 1990 and 2017. However, it had set itself a target of a 20% reduction by 2020. The Legault government had given up on reaching this target at the start of the campaign. his tenure, blaming the old government. He married a new one (37.5% by 2030).

Minister Charette’s Plan for a Green Economy will have an envelope of $ 6.7 billion over five years. The Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, improved it in his economic update presented Thursday.

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