Canada sets GHG emissions limits for new light-duty vehicles under the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations. The most recent amendments, adopted in 2014, require a 5% annual reduction in CO2-equivalent per mile for passenger cars from 2017 to 2025. New fleet average GHG limits for light trucks tighten 3.5% per year from 2017 to 2021 and 5% per year from 2022 to 2025. These standards are closely aligned with the United States.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits
Passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks
With 20 million automobiles on the road, Canada averages more than one vehicle for every two people.1 In 2009, road transportation accounted for 19 percent of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; light-duty passenger cars and trucks alone accounted for 12 percent.2Canada regulated fuel consumption targets on a voluntary basis until 2007, when new mandatory regulations increased standard stringency.
Two years after the Arab oil embargo and fuel shortages of 1973-1974, Canada established Company Average Fuel Consumption (CAFC) targets and harmonized them with CAFE standards in the United States. The main difference between Canada’s CAFC regulations and the US CAFE program was that Canada’s standards remained voluntary for 25 years.
In an initial attempt to make CAFC targets mandatory for all auto manufacturers, the Canadian Parliament approved the Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards Act (MVFCSA) in 1982. The act would have set legally binding standards parallel to US CAFE regulations, but lawmakers did not officially proclaim the MVFCSA because auto manufacturers agreed to meet the standards voluntarily.3 In 2007, the federal government finally implemented the 1982 MVFCSA in a shift to mandatory fuel economy standards.
Transport Canada’s Fuel Consumption Program (FCP)/CAFC was replaced by Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations in 2010. The new regulations are the first in Canada to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the automotive sector under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) of 1999. Beginning in model year 2011, the motor vehicle industry submits data to Environment Canada.
The final Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations were published in October 2010. Fuel economy targets for passenger vehicles and light duty trucks (a vehicle with four-wheel drive or a GVWR greater than 2,722 kg) were set according to footprint, a measure of vehicle size.4
Three days after the publication of 2011-2016 standards, the Canadian government published a Notice of Intent to issue additional targets for model years 2017 and later;5 regulations were proposed in December 2012. The proposed Regulations were adopted in September 2014 and establish progressively more stringent annual fleet average GHG emission standards over the 2017 to 2025 model years.
The Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards Act (MVFCSA) of 1982 attempted to make CAFC targets mandatory, but the government did not formally implement MVFCSA until 2007. The targets remained stagnant at 8.6 l/100km between 1985 and 2010.
|Passenger Cars||Light-Duty Trucks *|
|Model Year||CAFC Goal||Fleet Average||CAFC Goal||Fleet Average|
* Light-duty trucks includes vans, pickups, special-purpose vehicles
** Weight limit was 6,001 lb prior to 1988 and 8,501 lb after 1988
e — Estimated value
In October 2010, Canada finalized regulations to limit GHG emissions from passenger cars and light trucks from model years 2011 to 2016. The standards adopt a footprint-based structure. The Canadian government anticipates that the average GHG emissions performance of the 2016 Canadian fleet of new cars and light trucks would match an average level of 153 g CO2/km (169 gCO2/km under NEDC cycle). This would represent an approximate 20% reduction compared to the new vehicle fleet that was sold in Canada in 2007. The final rules for MVFCSA were published as Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations in 2010.
On 8 December 2012, Environment Canada proposed Regulations Amending the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations (2017–2025) in alignment with US standards. The proposed Regulations were adopted in September 2014 and establish progressively more stringent annual fleet average GHG emission standards over the 2017 to 2025 model years.
Canadian auto manufacturers test fuel consumption using the US Federal Test Procedure (FTP). The results are reported to the Canadian government’s FCP, which then verifies the results by independently testing a selection of vehicles. The FTP currently uses a 2-cycle testing process.6
- Number of vehicles on the registration lists by type of vehicle and jurisdiction. (2010). Statistics Canada. Government of Canada; Canada: Population. CIA World Factbook. (2011). ↩
- Data from UNFCC files, Canada National Inventory Report, 1990-2009, Environment Canada. Steve McCauley. (March 2011); Canada’s Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations for Model Years 2011-2016. ↩
- Primer on Automobile Fuel Efficiency and Emissions. (2009) Canadian Automobile Association. ↩
- For a full definition of “passenger vehicles” and “light duty trucks,” see the regulatory definitions in the Canadian Gazette ↩
- Canada’s Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations for Model Years 2011-2016. Steve McCauley. (March 2011). ↩
- Federal Test Procedure. (September 2011). Transport Canada. ↩