EAC calls on federal and provincial governments to increase electric vehicle access for Nova Scotians

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Mi’kma’ki/Nova Scotia - The Ecology Action Centre is calling on the federal government and the government of Nova Scotia to implement specific measures to ensure zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) supply is available across the country. 

A recent report commissioned by the EAC through Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors indicates that without proper legislative mechanisms to increase delivery of ZEVs outside of provincially regulated markets, provinces like Nova Scotia risk missing federal ZEV adoption targets by a wide margin. According to the report, a scenario in which ZEV availability remains unregulated in Nova Scotia could significantly impact the projected number of ZEVs on the road and severely limit the province’s ability to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in the transportation sector.  

“Regulated ZEV sales targets will send a clear signal to manufacturers to increase the supply of electric vehicles in Canada, creating a cycle of supply and adoption which can in turn create market certainty for deployment of charging infrastructure,” says Thomas Arnason McNeil, climate policy coordinator with the EAC. “This report shows that it’s essential for the Government of Canada to facilitate supply equity across the country to ensure this cycle of electric vehicle supply, adoption and infrastructure deployment benefits Canadians in every province and territory.” 

Provincially regulated supply targets in British Columbia and Quebec have served to increase ZEV sales in those provinces, but they have not increased the overall national supply of electric vehicles and have even made supply shortages and wait times worse in the rest of the country. The report suggests that strong federal regulation is a solution to this problem, and specific measures aimed at supply equity are needed to ensure that affordable ZEVs are available across the country. 

“Addressing regional inequities through an opt-in mechanism within forthcoming federal regulations could mitigate the risk of non-compliance in provinces without ZEV mandates,” says Arnason McNeil. “This report projects that by doing so, policymakers could ensure that an additional 65,000 electric vehicles hit the roads in Nova Scotia by 2030 and achieve an additional 5.2 megatons of avoided GHG emissions between 2022 and 2050.” 

Polling conducted for the EAC by Abacus Data in 2022 revealed that 68 per cent of respondents reported that wait times made them less likely to consider buying an electric vehicle. The same polling revealed that 86 per cent of respondents support standards for ZEV availability. 

To provide an opportunity to talk with prospective owners about the challenges they currently face in acquiring an electric vehicle, the EAC and the Clean Foundation’s Next Ride program will be hosting an electric vehicle test drive event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 25 at the EAC office on 2705 Fern Lane in Halifax. Media is encouraged to attend and the public can register for this event through the EAC’s website

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Media Contact

Thomas Arnason McNeil 
Climate Policy Coordinator, Sustainable Transportation | Ecology Action Centre 

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