GBR to Receive Funding for Education About Zero-Emission Vehicles
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Climate Change, Julie Dabrusin, has announced that the Georgian Bay Biosphere is the recipient of a $120,550 investment provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI). This announcement was made at the EV & Charging Expo in Toronto on May 17.
“Zero-emission vehicles are helping Canadians to reduce emissions and save money on fuel while creating good jobs through the supply chain,” said the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. “Investing in zero-emission vehicles will put more Canadians in the driver’s seat on the road to a net-zero future and help achieve our climate goals.”
“The Government of Canada is supporting Canadians to accelerate to a net-zero future, including by supporting the purchase, manufacturing and charging of electric vehicles,” said Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “I am pleased to announce new supports for local organizations across the country to raise awareness about zero-emission vehicles to help Canadians make the switch.”
Transportation is the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada, and the largest source of GHG emissions in the Biosphere region. Most of these emissions come from light-duty cars and trucks. One way to reduce the amount of transportation-related GHG emissions is to switch vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE) with zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). A ZEV is a vehicle that has the potential to produce no tailpipe emissions. They can still have a conventional ICE but must also be able to operate without using it. ZEVs currently include: battery-electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in-hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The Government of Canada has proposed regulations that would require a certain proportion of all new light-duty vehicle sales in Canada to be ZEVs each year. The proposed targets include a 60% sales target by 2030 and a 100% target by 2035.
To help communities transition to zero-emission vehicles, the project funding will help the Biosphere hold community events, webinars, and workshops, and develop resources about the function and benefits of ZEVs, such as electric vehicles and eBikes.
Last year, the Georgian Bay Biosphere (GBB) prepared a Regional Climate Action Survey to better understand what questions people had about zero-emission vehicles and what information they needed about them. Over 600 people across eight municipalities and several First Nations responded. The project will address the real and perceived barriers to adopting light-duty ZEVs and eBikes that were identified in this survey.
“The results of the survey made it very clear that people in our region are looking for information on zero-emission vehicles,” said Benjamin John, Climate & Energy Programs Manager at the GBB. “People are considering purchasing an EV as their next vehicle, but they need more information to be confident in that decision. By providing the information they are looking for through webinars, information resources, and public events, our goal is to build that confidence and knowledge and ultimately increase the adoption rate of EVs in the Biosphere region.”
Earlier this year, the Georgian Bay Biosphere launched its Regional Climate Action Plan. It contains multiple actions focused on EV and eBike education and initiatives.
“While changing the types of vehicles we drive is important for reducing emissions, getting people out of cars altogether can have a big impact as well, and eBikes can be a great option for this,” says Allison Covert, Climate & Energy Programs Coordinator at GBB. “Being a rural region, this of course can be challenging. But with the right knowledge, awareness, and tools, people can be better equipped to make decisions and see if these options make sense for them, especially for short trips around town. The battery power of eBikes also makes them a great option for recreation and mobility, and cycling benefits health for all ages.”
Several provinces have eBike rebate and incentive programs, although there are none currently in Ontario. eBikes are seen as an option to help reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and GHG emissions in many jurisdictions.