The federal government’s obsession with electric vehicles appears to be a one-way street as only 3% of government-issued vehicles are zero emission, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
According to Natural Resources Canada, most federal departments avoid purchasing electric vehicles because they are too costly.
A 2022 survey uncovered that a $5,000 federal rebate did not sufficiently sway most motorists to purchase electric vehicles. In fact, 51% "have not taken any real steps to purchase or lease this type of vehicle," said Canadians’ Awareness, Knowledge And Attitudes Related To Zero Emission Vehicles.
"Many Canadians, 47 percent, would only buy a zero-emission vehicle if the price were about the same as an equivalent vehicle," it said. Only one in four (23%) are willing to pay more for a zero-emission vehicle than an equivalent conventional vehicle.
Fewer than one in ten would only purchase an electric vehicle if it cost less than an equivalent conventional vehicle, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
Yet, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson continues to laud the 'net-zero' transition as much-needed to save the planet from ‘climate change.’
"Transportation is the second largest source of emissions in Canada," he said. "Electric vehicles and the infrastructure obviously are an important part of addressing the climate crisis."
On November 7, the Environment Commissioner questioned if Cabinet had the capacity to meet its target of 80% zero emission vehicles in the federal motor pool by 2030, as only 586 of the 17,260 government-issue vehicles are zero emission.
Within the Departments of National Defence (DND), Fisheries, Parks Canada, and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), only 3% of their vehicles are zero emission, said the report Departmental Progress In Implementing Sustainable Development Strategies: Zero Emission Vehicles.
"These numbers make it unlikely Canada will meet its target by 2030 as planned," wrote the commissioner.
"We examined the four with the largest federal fleets and with the highest potential for contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Zero Emission Vehicles. "However, we found none of the four organizations were strategic in their approaches to decarbonizing their fleets to meet the government’s target."
In the CBSA specifically, the Agency only had 12 electric vehicles compared to 998 gasoline-powered vehicles, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
In 2019, the Agency noted higher than expected purchase costs for zero emission vehicles that "would affect [their] ability to meet the target."
This is a developing story.