By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (AA) – Canada has accelerated the pace on electric cars and trucks to help meet its net-zero emissions target by mid-century, the government announced Tuesday.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the goal to ban sales of gas-powered new cars and light-duty trucks in favor of electric vehicles is now 2035.
That is five years sooner than planned and comes as a result of a recent report by the International Energy Agency that said it was necessary to move the electric goal forward to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
"Only bold climate policies lead to bold results," Alghabra said in a statement as reported by the Canadian Press.
"We know that we need to do more. Let me just say our target is ambitious, undoubtedly, but it is a must. We believe it is doable,” he said. "It needs determination, it needs focus, it needs effort."
Canada has already anted up CAN$600 million ($484 million) into a program where buyers qualify for a rebate for purchasing electric vehicles up to C$5,000, ($4,00) according to Canadian Press.
Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the new target means Canada must work with the US and car and part-makers to achieve the desired result.
That includes approaching vehicle manufacturers to increase the number of electric vehicles now so that consumers would have more choices when they go to buy a new vehicle.
Wilkinson said the 2035 deadline is firm.
"It is a mandatory target," he said.
The province of Quebec has already announced it is moving up its electric vehicle target date to 2035.
Other countries have put in place bans to stop the sale of gas-powered vehicles, and Norway has the most ambitious target — 2025.