Canada: Vehicle Definitions

Canada: Vehicle Definitions


Transport Canada defines vehicle and engine types for the purposes of federal emissions regulations.

Technical Standards

Canada’s regulations define weight classes for vehicles and engines as outlined below:


Vehicle Categories
Class GVWR, kg (lb)
Motorcycle ≤793 (1,749)
Light-Duty Vehicle ≤3,856 (8,500)
Light-Duty Truck ≤3,856 (8,500)
– light light-duty truck ≤2,722 (6,000)
– heavy light-duty truck >2,722 to 3,856 (6,000 to 8,500)
Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicle 3,856 to <4,536 (8,500 to 10,000)
Complete Heavy-Duty Vehicle (Otto cycle only) 3,856 to 6,350 (8,500 to 14,000)
Heavy-Duty Vehicle/Heavy-Duty Engine >3,856 (8,500)
– light heavy-duty engine <8,847 (19,500)
– medium heavy-duty engine 8,847 to 14,971 (19,500 to 33,000)
– heavy heavy-duty engine >14,971 (33,000)


  1. The new “medium-duty passenger vehicle” class is designed to subject heavier passenger-type vehicles, such as vans and sport utility vehicles, to the same set of emission standards as light-duty vehicles instead of the heavy-duty vehicle emission standards.
  2. Otto-cycle (i.e., spark ignition) engines are typically powered by gasoline, but other fuels may be used
  3. “Complete heavy-duty vehicle” is similarly a new subclass of heavy-duty vehicle that will be subject to standards and testing procedures resembling those for light-duty vehicles. These types of vehicles are newly subject to chassis-based standards defined in terms of emissions per unit distance (g/km or g/mile) while heavy-duty engine-based standards are expressed in terms of emissions per unit of work (g/MJ or g/bhp-hr).

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