November 05, 2013 09:58 ET

Electric Vehicles in Canada: Surprising Gains or Missed Opportunity? New WWF Report Shows Both

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 05, 2013) -  Last year, Canada more than doubled the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road from approximately 1,600 to over 4,000, according to WWF-Canada's new EV National Status Update released today. With transportation accounting for nearly 30 per cent of Canada's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, EVs are critical to helping meet Canada's short and long term climate targets. Provinces including Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, and some cities, have already integrated EVs into their provincial climate change strategies.

WWF's latest EV findings come just over a month after the release of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which shows human-caused climate change is accelerating and reducing emissions is critical to avoiding the worst impacts.

As part of a long-term vision for tackling climate change, WWF has set the ambitious goal of getting 600,000 EVs on Canada's roads by 2020. This would require 10 per cent of all vehicle sales to be electric within the next 10 years. If achieved, that target will put Canada on the path toward the 80 per cent reduction in GHG emissions needed by 2050.

Highlighting the status of EVs in Canada's leading provinces, the report compares progress in Canada with global EV leaders such as California and Norway. The analysis demonstrates that more national, provincial and municipal government programmes are needed for EVs to reduce emissions in Canada on a scale that matches the technology's potential.

WWF's Top 3 EV Conclusions and Recommendations for Canada:

  • Incentive programmes work and should be expanded: B.C., Ontario and Quebec are demonstrating that EV purchase incentives pay off. Other provinces should follow suit.
  • Infrastructure is needed: Provincial governments, utilities and municipalities need to develop new policies and programmes that encourage installing charging stations in workplaces and public areas.
  • Canadians need more hands on experience with EVs: Employers, manufacturers, NGOs, and car-sharing and rental companies should increase opportunities for Canadians to try out EVs.


"Ontario is proud to have one of the first and highest value EV purchasing incentive programmes in Canada. The Ministry of Transportation is working hard to incorporate sustainability into our provincial transportation system thereby investing in a cleaner, greener Ontario. We will continue to take action to support EV adoption and helping to reduce emissions and fight climate change." 

- Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation, Ontario

"Since the introduction of our highly successful, $14.3 million Clean Energy Vehicle Program, we have been making great strides in growing the electric vehicle market in British Columbia. By working with our partners and providing funding to a number of municipalities and businesses, we have issued 668 clean energy vehicle incentives, installed almost 500 public, Level 2 charging stations within the last year and will have Canada's first network of 13 DC fast chargers operating by March 2014. As the infrastructure expands and vehicle sales increase, we expect electric vehicles to play an important role in helping us reach our greenhouse gas reduction targets."

- Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Environment, British Columbia

"Quebec is working towards becoming a world leader in the electrification of our transportation system. Last week, we announced a $516 million investment to support the continuation of purchase incentives for EVs, the building of 5,000 new charging stations and the gradual replacement of government fleet vehicles with EVs. We plan to introduce 12,500 new EVs on the road in the province by 2017. With these efforts, we are creating green jobs while contributing significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions."

- Honourable Martine Ouellet, Minister of Natural Resources, Quebec

"Smart, sustainable transportation is at the heart of sustainable cities. Emissions from road transportation in Canada have grown by 35 per cent since 1990, and are a major contributor to climate change. EVs are a critical part of the solution, and I applaud the achievements across provinces to date. With increased investments and policy support, we can make the most of this opportunity to cut Canada's greenhouse gas emissions and clean our air. "

- David Miller, President and CEO, WWF-Canada


  • 97% of EV sales are occurring in provinces with purchase incentive programmes. Consumers have access to up to $8,500 in incentives in Ontario, Quebec and B.C.
  • There are currently over 1,000 public charging stations in Canada.
  • Hydro-Quebec and its partners created Canada's first network of public charging stations, le Circuit électrique, and boasts more than 200 charging stations across the province.
  • B.C.'s EV infrastructure programmes aims to support the installation of more than 500 level 2 charging stations and 13 DC fast-charging stations by providing funding to municipalities and businesses.
  • EVs produce 60-80 per cent fewer lifecycle GHG emissions than conventionally cars in most provinces.
  • According to recent figures from Environment Canada, current federal and provincial policies will achieve only half of Canada's 2020 emissions reduction goal. The gap is approximately 113 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.


To download the Transportation rEVolution: Electric Vehicle Status Update 2013 report, please visit

To view the Electric Vehicle Status Update 2013 Infographic, please visit

For more information about WWF's Transportation rEVolution programme, please visit:


WWF-Canada would like to recognize the McLean Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, and Ontario Power Generation for their generous support of our sustainable transportation work.

About WWF

WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive.

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