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Canada has increased their commitment to becoming carbon neutral. The Canadian government issued a notice on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 saying that Canada is banning gas powered cars and light-duty trucks by 2035 and moving toward EVs. This is part of Canada’s plan to be completely net-zero by 2050.

Justin Trudeau speaks in front of four Canadian flags. Canada is banning gas powered cars by 2035.
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau | Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 via Getty Images

Canada banning gas powered cars isn’t a new goal

Beginning in 2035, no new fuel-powered vehicles will be able to be sold. There will be smaller goals for the Canadian government to reach before then. These include transitioning Canada’s transportation away from fossil fuels. This will likely have a big impact on the massive country, which largely supports fighting climate change. Currently transportation is the second largest contributor to Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, behind oil and gas.

Canada currently has a Strengthened Climate Plan which is supposed to help the country meet its Paris Agreement goals by 2030. Not only that, but they want to have zero emissions by 2050. The Canadian government says that they are currently on track to meet this goal. 

Previously Canada wanted to have all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks be fuel-free by 2040. So what prompted the change? CBC reports that Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says that the Canadian government wants all gas-powered vehicles to be off the road by 2050. Ending their sale by 2035 means that most gas-powered vehicles won’t still be running by or after 2035. 

Canada is going to pay for the change

An orange 2021 Nissan Leaf driving through a city.
2021 Nissan Leaf | Nissan

Canada has a rebate program for car shoppers who buy new electric vehicles. Car buyers can get $2,500 or $5,000 for buying a new car, which they get immediately. Then the car seller gets reimbursed. This makes it more likely for car buyers to take advantage of these kinds of rebates, though it may be kind of a pain for car sellers. 

So far Canada has paid or promised $600 million for this rebate program. It’s not enough. Canada is also considering forcing car manufacturers to make or sell more electric vehicles. 

Is Canada the only country doing this?

A white 2021 Tesla Model 3 against a white background.
2021 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

The Paris Agreement means that other countries have also committed to reducing emissions. Britain, Ireland, Iceland and China are going to ban gas-powered cars by 2030. Scotland has committed to ending the sale of gas-powered cars by 2032, while Norway has a more ambitious goal of 2025. Costa Rica is one of the last countries to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles, intending to do so by 2050. It will be interesting to see how many car manufacturers are still making fuel-powered vehicles by then, as the rest of the world will have shifted toward EVs. The United States has yet to set a goal, but California plans on ending their sales by 2035. 

As more and more car manufacturers gravitate toward electric vehicles, car buyers will have more options. This will make it easier for people to transition from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles. As the demand for EVs increases, car manufacturers will see the financial benefits of producing more EVs and less fuel-powered vehicles. All of these changes can only be good for our planet. 


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