QUEBEC CITY, QC. – Proposed legislation in Quebec aimed at driving electric vehicle sales and acceptance has some dealerships and carmakers pushing back.
Environment Minister David Heurtel introduced the bill in early June. The bill would require 15.5 per cent of a dealership’s sales volume to be green vehicles by 2025. The legislation calls for a credit system with automakers for each EV sold.
Quotas for electric vehicles would begin in just two years with potential finds for stores and automakers that don’t hit minimum requirements.
Members of la Corporation des Concessionaires Automobiles du Québec (CCAQ), the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA) and the Global Automakers of Canada (GAC), which represent all vehicle manufacturers and new car dealers in Quebec, quickly fired back saying the government’s introduction of a zero-emission law to stimulate the supply of electric vehicles in Quebec undermines rather than supports the government’s policies.
“While our members support electric vehicle technology, and are working to educate consumers about electric vehicles through our website, forcing electric vehicles onto dealer lots does not mean that consumers will purchase them,” said Jacques Béchard, president of the CCAQ representing Quebec’s 850 new car dealers.
Quebec is one of three provinces to offer rebates on electric and hybrid vehicle purchases. It also leads the way for Canada in terms of developing long-term infrastructure solutions around electric mobility. The province has over 500 charging stations for EVs. Still, this latest bill has many in the industry calling the goals unrealistic.
“There are better ways to improve electric vehicle penetration which focus on creating consumer demand and understanding of the benefits of the technology and our view is that this is best done collaboratively with government,” said Mark Nantais, CVMA president.
David Adams of the GAC echoed that statement noting the impact on dealers and consumers could be more dramatic in terms of financing inventories and overall availability of a broad range of vehicles that meet the needs of consumers.
This will likely be the hot button issue at the upcoming World Electric Vehicle Symposium and Expo planned for Montreal on June 19 to 22.