On October 9, 2015, the Quebec government unveiled its new 2015 to 2020 Transportation Electrification Action Plan. The plan comes with a budget of $420.75 million: 60% ($253.5 million) from the Fonds Vert (Green Fund), 20% ($84.25 million) from ministry and agency appropriations and 20% ($83 million) from the Fonds des réseaux de transport terrestre (Land Transportation Network Fund).
The government is seeking to achieve four objectives with this plan: increase the number of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles registered in Quebec to 100,000,1 reduce transportation-sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 150,000 tons annually, decrease Quebec’s reliance on oil by reducing the amount of fuel consumed annually in Quebec by 66 million litres and contribute to the province’s economic development by focusing on sustainable mobility and the use of available electrical power.
The plan is therefore designed to help meet Quebec’s 2020 target of reducing GHG emissions to 20% below 1990 levels. It should be noted that consultations were recently held to establish the 2030 GHG reduction target, which the government is recommending be set at 37.5% below 1990 levels.2 The transportation sector offers attractive potential for meeting these targets as it accounted for 44.7% of the province’s emissions in 2012 and recorded a 25.7% rise in GHG emissions between 1990 and 2012, compared to a 24.3% decline in other sectors.
Nearly three-quarters of the budget (a little over $310 million) will be used to fund measures designed to promote electric transportation by increasing the availability of electric public transportation, spurring the use of light electric vehicles (particularly through the installation of charging stations) and offering electrification incentives to the freight transportation sector. The government is relying on existing financial assistance programs (Roulez électrique and Branché au travail)3 to get individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and municipalities to purchase electric and hybrid vehicles and install charging stations.
An amount of $52.1 million will be spent on developing the transportation electrification industry, mostly by intensifying research and development, but also by supporting investments and product marketing and exports.
Lastly, $23.6 million will be used to create an environment favourable to transportation electrification. This will involve proposing new legislative and regulatory measures (reserved lanes, revision of the Construction Code4 with respect to charging stations, revision of the Highway Safety Code5 for low-speed vehicles and reserved parking spaces, and land-use planning), converting the government fleet to electric vehicles and implementing various promotion and awareness measures.
Call for proposals
On October 19, 2015, as part of plan implementation, the minister of the economy, innovation and exports and the minister of sustainable development, environment and the fight against climate change issued a call for proposals for mobilizing projects in transportation electrification. These projects will receive $10 million in financial support over the next five years. Proposals must be submitted by December 4, 2015, using the prescribed form6 and in accordance with the Guide d’appel à projets (call for projects guide).7
To be considered a mobilizing project under this call for proposals, the proposed project must lead to the creation of new products or processes that will serve to reduce GHG emissions in Quebec once they are commercialized, give Quebec businesses a competitive advantage, bring together industrial partners to fund and carry out the project while sharing the intellectual property, mobilize the research community and Quebec SMEs and be managed by a non-profit organization for purposes of planning, activity and cost follow-up and monitoring and government reporting.
To qualify, the projects will have to lead to the development of state-of-the-art plug-in electric or hybrid vehicles or their components, be designed for the land transportation markets in certain industrial sectors listed in the call for projects guide, last between 12 and 48 months, have a minimum of $5 million in eligible expenditures and demonstrate potential for reducing GHG emissions in Quebec.
1 The government has also set a target of 300,000 electric vehicles for 2026.
4 CQLR, c B-1.1, r 2
5 CQLR, c C-24.2