+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution ER3-24S

Opposition to Federal Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate

March 19, 2024
Expiry Date:
April 1, 2027
Active Status:
County of Newell
1 - Foothills-Little Bow
Sent to Government
Vote Results:
Carried as Amended

WHEREAS concerns have been raised about the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of current Government of Canada energy and emission reduction measures in various regions; and

WHEREAS flawed assumptions in current Government of Canada analyses may lead to misleading conclusions about the benefits of energy and emission reduction policies; and

WHEREAS in December 2023, the Government of Canada introduced the final version of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate regulation for all of Canada, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA); and

WHEREAS the ZEV mandate imposes requirements on the sellers of light duty vehicles to meet specified thresholds for ZEV sales, restricts the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and includes penalties for non-compliance; and

WHEREAS the ZEV mandate is expected to have unequal impacts on various subpopulations within Canada, disproportionately impacting low-income households and households in rural and northern communities; and

WHEREAS the ZEV mandate assumes that demand for ZEVs will displace the demand for ICE vehicles, impacting the vehicle preferences and choices of Canadians; and

WHEREAS estimates indicate that Canada should be able to meet the 2035 100 percent ZEV mandate for about 270,000 passenger cars (only 18% of the market) but will be unlikely to meet the 2035 ZEV mandate for the remaining 1,240,000 (82%) light duty vehicles (pickup trucks, vans and SUVs/crossovers); and

WHEREAS the gap between light duty vehicle demand and forecasted ZEV light duty vehicle supply will cause severe market disruptions; and

WHEREAS global emissions from international sources may overshadow domestic emission reductions, rendering certain climate goals and carbon dioxide reduction measures ineffective and economically burdensome; and

WHEREAS Alberta’s rural economy heavily relies on exporting primary and value-added agriculture commodities, essential for sustaining its economic growth and contributing significantly to the national economy; and

WHEREAS maintaining cost competitiveness is crucial for Alberta’s exports to remain successful in international markets, where price sensitivity often determines purchasing decisions; and

WHEREAS the proposed ZEV mandate, unlike measures implemented by many of Alberta’s key trading partners, may increase production costs for rural industries, potentially jeopardizing their competitiveness and leading to adverse economic impacts; and

WHEREAS rural municipalities in Alberta recognize the importance of addressing environmental risks but are concerned about the potential impacts of the ZEV mandate on rural residents and businesses;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) register its opposition to the federal zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate in its current form;

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the RMA advocate to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and to the Government of Canada (GOC) to reconsider and revise the ZEV mandate to address the unique challenges faced by rural communities and develop a more flexible, market-based approach that removes the 100 percent ZEV requirement.

Member Background:

Rural municipalities in Alberta should be concerned about the potential impact of the ZEV mandate on the residents and businesses in their rural communities. The ZEV mandate may disproportionately affect the availability and affordability of light vehicles, particularly pickup trucks and SUVs/crossovers, which are essential for daily life and economic activities in rural areas.

Rural municipalities recognize the pressure for environmental initiatives but emphasizes the importance of a balanced and practical approach that considers the unique challenges faced by rural residents, such as longer travel distances, limited charging infrastructure, and the essential role of certain types of vehicles in rural economies.

The Government of Canada has introduced a ZEV mandate for all of Canada. In December 2022, the Government of Canada issued proposed regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), and, on December 20, 2023, introduced the final version of the regulations for their ZEV mandate. Section 30.12 of these regulations state that all sales of light vehicles (passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans and SUVs/crossovers) must meet the thresholds for ZEV sales in a year shown in the table below.

Year Federal Mandate:

Minimum % of ZEV Sales

2026 20
2027 23
2028 34
2029 43
2030 60
2031 74
2032 83
2033 94
2034 97
2035 100
Source: Canada b. https://canadagazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2023/2023-12-20/html/sor-dors275-eng.html

The ZEV mandate imposes a prohibition on the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. This prohibition will negatively impact Canadians who will face higher costs and restricted choice as they try to purchase their next light duty vehicle.

RMA Background:

RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

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