British Columbia adopted an emissions law yesterday aimed at limiting the production and sale of fuel-burning cars in the Canadian province, thereby marking North America's most aggressive legislation to date, according to the CBC. The law requires 10 percent of all vehicles sold by 2025 to be zero-emission products, while the sale of fuel-burning cars and trucks is completely prohibited around 2040. Zero-emission cars include electric batteries, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell models.
The law, the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act (ZEVA), is not without critics. The CBC says that opposition to ZEVA is primarily about the possible ineffectiveness of the law, criticizing that BC residents can easily buy a vehicle in the neighboring province of Alberta.
ZEVA also has a credit system for car manufacturers who do not want or cannot produce the required zero emission vehicles, which means that car manufacturers can pay a little extra money to save on the costs of actually developing the required environmentally friendly models. There are also provisions in the law that allow it to be adjusted depending on the total production of zero-emission vehicles over the next 20 years, pending a possible ban from 2040 that may ultimately be too aggressive.
Anyway, ZEVA is a milestone for North America, which is far behind Europe in terms of fuel-burning car legislation. Many European countries already have laws that regulate the sale of gas-powered vehicles and provide incentives to increase the number of electrical and zero emissions.
In Norway, Europe & # 39; s leading electric market for Germany, one in three cars purchased is an electric vehicle. The country is even installing & # 39; the world's first electric taxi charging system & # 39; s to make it a non-vehicle cab system in 2023. In the meantime, many other countries have set targets for banning traditional cars and vans, with Norway targeting 2025 and France and the UK for 2040 and 2050 respectively. legislation for actually making the ban mandatory is far behind.) The mayor of the capital Copenhagen even went so far proposals for a ban on diesel cars in the city last year that would come into effect by the end of 2019; Copenhagen has since tempered its proposal to aim for zero carbon emissions and carbon neutrality by 2025.
In the US, however, citizens bought more than 17 million new cars last year, of which only 1.2 percent are electric, according to the International Energy Agency. A number of cities, most prominent in California, have considered banning gas cars to try to move the needle to electric car sales and reduce emissions. And just last week a bill, the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, was proposed in the American House of Representatives to ban the sale of passenger cars with gas engines in the US by 2040. It follows a similar bill from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti introduced in April who wants a ban on the sale and use of gas-powered cars in the city by 2050.
But now, BC, where six percent of all new cars sold are emission-free vehicles, the only area in North America that adopts harsh legislation. That is a victory for Canada, but it is not clear that this means a lot to other parts of the continent.