Canada moves away from North American fuel standard
July 22, 2019
Canada appears to be moving away from a single, North American fuel standard after the federal government signed a cooperative agreement with California to advance clean transportation.
CADA, along with other stakeholders within the Canadian automotive industry, have for many years supported a same-standard set of rules between the U.S. and Canada, according to Oumar Dicko, CADA Economist.
“Different rules between the two countries, provinces and states, including California, would require manufacturers to build vehicles for different jurisdictions,” said Dicko. “This would be very difficult and costly for OEMs to achieve.” Furthermore, any movement away from a harmonized approach to fuel economy and emissions regulations will also hinder choice and increase costs for Canadian Consumers — especially in light of CUSMA, which will further integrate our economies once ratified.”
Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, signed the cooperative agreement on June 26, with the intention of working together to fight climate change.
The agreement also commits both parties to improve their respective regulations towards the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles, share best practices and technical information concerning the regulation of cleaner fuels, and promote the uptake of cleaner vehicles — which Canada is doing through its national Incentives for the Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program.
But the memorandum comes at a time when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to freeze fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels through 2026, while also dealing with a lawsuit from California that wants the agency to present the information it used to justify the rollback.
“The situation in the U.S. is still unclear and nothing has been set in stone,” said Dicko. “The result is a growing uncertainty among auto industry players on both sides of the border, which will need to be addressed as quickly as possible to ensure there is harmony between the Canadian and U.S. markets, and to ensure prices don’t escalate for consumers.”
CADA continues to monitor the situation, and will update dealers through CADA Newsline as information becomes available.