Canada has decided to implement their first-ever emission standards, based on the recently introduced US standards. Previously, Canada didn’t have standards. There were guidelines in place, but compliance was not mandatory.
The standards, as with the US, will require all automakers to achieve a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) of 35.5 mpg by 2016, or about 6.6L/100km for us Canadians. As well, starting from 2011, companies will have to comply with fleet average greenhouse gas emission standards. If a company does not comply, they will have to buy emissions credits, which will cost $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide. The limits will become more stringent each year from 2012 to 2016, and there will be separate limits for emissions other than carbon dioxide, such as nitrous oxide and methane.
These are the same regulations recently set by the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. This will allow for less costly vehicle development, as companies won’t have to make cars comply to different standards in Canada. However, Quebec and British Columbia are still deciding whether they will stick with these federal rules or place their own. If they decide on their own, it will be a real pain for automakers to have to comply to different standards in those provinces.
Estimates suggest that the standards will boost the price of cars and light trucks by an average of US$1,300 per vehicle. However, it is believed that this will be offset by fuel savings of about US$2,800 throughout the life of the vehicle. We won’t really see the effect of these standards until automakers start unveiling their next-generation vehicles for North America though, so until then, it’s hard to say exactly how this will change the industry. One thing’s for sure though, the industry will be making some big changes to comply with these rules. Oh God, not more hybrids…