The Top 5 Issues in LCFVs This Week: Quebec to Implement a ZEV Standard

11.03.16 | Blog | By:

Happy Thursday friends! Here’s my weekly take on the five most interesting developments in LCFV trends over the last week.

  1. Quebec’s National Assembly has adopted a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV), the latest jurisdiction to consider an enact such a policy.
  2. The White House today announced another EV initiative focusing on building out charging infrastructure and partnering with states, some municipalities and companies to make it happen. No doubt his potential successor, Secretary Hillary Clinton, will continue it.
  3. A UK think tank released a “radical” new plan to help London Mayor Sadiq Khan cut air pollution and improve Londoners health. Meantime, the mayor and an NGO won a court case against the UK government for not doing enough to curb air pollution. Could other cities follow?
  4. Citi released a report on future mobility for the next 10-15 years, concluding that peak car is hardly upon us. “The profit potential of the car is more likely at its earlier stages, in our view.”
  5. A UNICEF study found that almost 300 million children live in areas around the world with the most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution. The culprits: vehicle emissions, heavy use of fossil fuels and waste burning. The fact that air pollution is worsening, and that children will bear the brunt of those impacts, will no doubt put renewed energy and focus into policy measures to stop it – and that will include fuels and vehicles.

1. Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment: Quebec Moves Forward with a Zero-Emission Vehicle Standard

Quebec’s National Assembly unanimously adopted a ZEV standard this week. Qualifying ZEVs include fully electric and hydrogen vehicles and rechargeable hybrid vehicles. The ZEV standard, along with reserved lanes and other incentives, will help achieve the goal of having 100,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on Quebec’s roads by 2020, according to the Ministry of Sustainable Development. The figure below projects the total number of ZEVs following adoption of the standard through 2026.



Starting with 2018 models, automakers will be required to meet a ZEV sales target that is set by the government and transposed into credits. The target will be calculated by applying a percentage to the total number of light vehicles each manufacturer sells in Québec, according to the legislation. The credit requirement will therefore vary from one manufacturer to another. Every sale or lease of a ZEV recognized by the Minister of Sustainable Development will earn the manufacturer a number of credits based on the vehicle’s electric range. The greater the range, the greater the number of credits earned by the manufacturer, which in turn will reduce the number of ZEV sales the manufacturer will need to reach its target.

Small manufacturers not subject to the standard, as well as high-performance automakers, will also be able to benefit financially from selling their excess credits to other manufacturers. Automakers will be able to accumulate credits for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 model-year vehicles, without regulatory requirements, and use those credits for compliance purposes in subsequent years, according to the legislation.

All operational parameters of the program, including the credit percentages required by category of automaker, formulas for calculating credits associated with each type of vehicle, requirements for re-conditioned vehicles, rules for using credits as well as the information required when reporting will be specified in a forthcoming regulation.

Quebec joins the ten U.S. states, including California and several northeastern states, representing one third of the American market, that have already adopted ZEV standards. China is also considering a similar program.

2. The White House: Obama Administration Announces New Actions To Accelerate The Deployment of Electrical Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

Earlier today the White House announced further initiatives to speed the deployment of EVs nationally, including a 48 national EV charging corridors on the country’s highways, lead by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and covering 25,000 miles in 35 states. Meantime, the Department of Energy (DOE) will publish two studies developed with national laboratories and with input from a range of stakeholders to support broad EV charging infrastructure deployment, that will include an infrastructure analysis and best practices for fast-charging installation.

  • 28 states, utilities, vehicle manufactures, and change organizations are committing to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure on the DOT’s corridors;
  • 24 state and local governments are committing to partner with the Administration and increase the procurement of electric vehicles in their fleets;
  • The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting two studies to evaluate the optimal national electric vehicle charging deployment scenarios, including along DOT’s designated fueling corridors; and
  • 38 new businesses, non-profits, universities, and utilities are signing on to DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge and committing to provide EV charging access for their workforce.

The White House notes:

“By working together across the Federal government and with the private sector, we can ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to charging stations at home, at work, and on the road – creating a new way of thinking about transportation that will drive America forward.”

In July, the White House released its Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure (see post, July 29, 2016). As I said earlier this year, EVs are one of the end games for the government, and while President Obama is nearing the end of his term, there is no doubt that Secretary Hillary Clinton, if elected, would carry forward initiatives like this.

3. Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR): Lethal and Illegal: Solving London’s Air Pollution Crisis

UK think tank IPPR today released a “radical” new plan to help London Mayor Sadiq Khan and government cut air pollution and improve Londoners health, building on measures he recently announced that include an ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ). (See post July 8, 2016.) Vehicles subject to the ULEZ would have to meet exhaust emission standards, among other measures.

As part of crafting the plan, IPPR found the following:

  • London is breaking legal and WHO limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and WHO limits for particulate matter (as shown in the figure below). Under the existing policy regime London is not expected to reach compliance with the legal limits on NO2 until 2025 or beyond. No level of air pollution exposure is safe, according to IPPR.


  • Most air pollution in London is caused by road transport, of which diesel vehicles are the most polluting, emitting about 40% of the city’s total nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and a similar proportion for particulate matter (PM10). IPPR notes that diesel vehicles will need to be progressively phased out in order to bring air pollution to within acceptable levels. In the near term, this means legal limits; in the longer run, it will mean reducing emissions down to negligible levels.
  • Modeling undertaken by King’s College London estimates that policies that would bring the levels of diesel cars down to 5% in inner London, and drive a move towards cleaner alternatives across other vehicle types, would bring 99.96% of London into compliance with legal levels on NO2.
  • These improvements in air quality would result in an estimated gain of up to 1.4 million life-years over a lifetime across the population of Greater London, providing an estimated annualized economic benefit of up to £800 million.
  • Policy at the London level needs to be complemented by action at a national and European Union scale.

IPPR made numerous recommendations to Mayor Khan including the following:

Phase 1 (2016–2020)

  • The mayor should extend the ULEZ and accelerate its implementation, including by:
    • ensuring that diesel cars below the Euro 6 standard and petrol cars below the Euro 4 standard are charged a fee per day if they enter the zone
    • Transport for London should procure only hybrid or zero emissions buses from 2018 and increase the emissions standard on certain buses to Euro 6 within the expanded ULEZ.
  • Central government should devolve vehicle excise duty to the London level.
  • The mayor should require all newly licensed private hire vehicles to be zero-emissions capable from 2018.
  • The mayor should call on central government to provide a diesel scrappage scheme.
  • The mayor should include a plan for the expansion of the car share market in his new transport strategy.

Phase 2 (2020–2025)
Ensure that all Euro 6 diesel cars are charged within the expanded ULEZ by 2025, announce the plan to charge all diesel cars in the expanded ULEZ as soon as possible

  • ensure that all buses are zero emissions within central London, and on major routes where air pollution levels are particularly acute.
  • implement a ban on all diesel taxis across London in 2025.
  • introduce an emissions charge on all non-zero-emissions cars across inner London by 2025.
  • consider introducing a zero emission zone across central London from 2025.
  • investigate the potential for a smart charging system and an integrated road pricing scheme in London.
  • ensure the revenues raised by road charging are reinvested into the public transport network and other alternative, sustainable transport options.

Mid last month, Khan launched a public consultation on his ULEZ plan. He joined a legal challenge against the UK government earlier this year, charging it is not doing enough to combat air pollution in the country. On Wednesday, the UK government lost that challenge, with the judge in that case finding its air pollution plan “illegally poor.”  Khan said, “Today’s ruling lays the blame at the door of the government for its complacency in failing to tackle the problem quickly and credibly. In so doing they have let down millions of people the length and breadth of the country.” The government will now negotiate a new plan with the parties.

4. Citi: Car of the Future v3.0

Citi released this week a report on the future of mobility over the next 10-15 years, covering vehicle technologies including electric vehicles and connectivity. “Peak car?” No way, says Citi. Read more about it here.

5. UNICEF: Clear the Air for Children

A UNICEF study released this week found that almost 300 million children live in areas around the world with the most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution – six or more times higher than international guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Another 2 billion children, including those in developed regions such as North America and Europe, live in areas where outdoor pollution exceed WHO guidelines (shown in the figure below). The culprits: vehicle emissions, heavy use of fossil fuels and waste burning. Read more about it here.

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