The impact of the Quebec 2022 election on the electric car and transport


The 2022 provincial election is a hot topic right now in Quebec and will continue to dominate the news until October 3, when Quebecers will be called upon to elect the next government.

Health, day care and education are at the center of the debates, but we also find very different opinions from one side to another on the subject of transport, especially in terms of electrification.

Camry’s tax

Although the September 15th debate could have allowed for a better understanding of the commitments of each party on the issue of electric vehicles and transport in general, we were treated to an incessant and very unpleasant cacophony of almost zero use. That said, we still had some interesting tidbits, including one that featured the good old Toyota Camry.

Toyota Camry 2023
Toyota Camry 2023 XSE | photo: Toyota

As you’ve no doubt heard, current Prime Minister François Legault of the CAQ has accused Quebec’s Solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of wanting to tax more new vehicles, citing the Toyota Camry as an example.

“I have a question for Mr. Nadeau Dubois, a Toyota Camry, will cost $4,300 in orange tax […] Do you think it’s time to put taxes like this, with inflation and the situation that Quebecers are currently living? »

First of all, it is important to mention that what the Prime Minister said is false. In reality, only two versions of the Toyota Camry, equipped only with a V6 engine, would be affected by Quebec’s solidarity plan and therefore subject to an additional tax of 15%. Most Camry models would be excluded.

This key moment in the debate confirmed what we already knew, that each political party has its own vision for the future of transport and electrification. To help you see it more clearly, we thought we’d summarize here what each formation offers Quebecers during the Quebec 2022 election.

Quebec Solidarity

Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois
Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Solidaire de Quebec’s green plan, released in early September, aims to remove gasoline-powered vehicles from Quebec’s roads by 2040 and significantly reduce polluting emissions by 2030.

To achieve this, QS offers the following:

  • Ban sales of gasoline-powered vehicles from 2030
  • Ban the registration of vehicles with a gasoline engine from 2040
  • Add an additional 15% tax on large displacement vehicles that emit 210 grams or more of COtwo per kilometer
  • 15% surcharge waiver for families with more than three children and work vehicles (the famous F plate)
  • Exemption if the purchase of a vehicle emitting 210 grams or more of COtwo per kilometer is required for the region, job or road conditions
  • Roulez Vert program discounts and incentives maintained
  • Investment of US$ 74 billion in public transport
  • Force manufacturers to ship more electric vehicles

Québec solidaire’s plan for transport and electric vehicles is very aggressive. The plan advances the timeline to ban gas-powered vehicles in five years (2030 instead of 2035), while banning gas-powered vehicles from operating from 2040.

As for the surcharge on polluting vehicles, it concerns vehicles that emit 210 grams or more of COtwo only and QS already says that exemptions will be given when the purchase of an affected vehicle is required. We are talking about exempting families with more than three children and those who drive in difficult conditions or who carry out work that requires a truck or an SUV. In the case of the famous Camry, it would only be models with a V6 engine that would be affected, while most trucks, SUVs and minivans would be overloaded.

The other, slightly more ambiguous element is the notion of forcing manufacturers to supply more electric vehicles. Just as it will be difficult to determine whether a buyer really needs a vehicle considered to be polluting to avoid the surcharge, it will be difficult to force manufacturers to deliver more vehicles to the province, knowing that we are just one market among many in North America.

While it is true that Quebec represents a very profitable market for electric vehicles, it is much less obvious that a Quebec government would have the ability to change manufacturers’ intentions.

Quebec’s Future Coalition

Leader of the Avenir Québec Coalition François Legault
Leader of the Avenir Québec Coalition François Legault
Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

  • Ban sales of vehicles with gasoline engines from 2035
  • It imposed minimum electric vehicle sales targets on manufacturers to reach 1.6 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030
  • Investments of US$ 40 million in the creation of the Integrated Center for Electric Batteries in Mauritie. The center would specialize in research on batteries for electric vehicles.
  • Triple the number of Tier II charging stations on the network
  • Add 250 public fast charging stations
  • Maintain current Roulez Vert program subsidies

The CAQ essentially proposes the status quo in terms of taxes, Incentives from the Roulez Vert program and schedules. On the other hand, the Legault government wants to improve the charging station network while investing in battery development here in Quebec.

Quebecois part

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois
Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois
Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

  • Forcing car manufacturers to sell 25% electric vehicles by 2023 and 50% electric vehicles by 2025. By 2027, this proportion will increase to 75%.
  • Ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2030
  • Increase the number of charging stations
  • Again, offer a maximum discount of $8,000 on the purchase of an electric vehicle

As a supporter of Quebec, Parti Québécois wants to force the hand of manufacturers to improve the supply of electric vehicles in the province. Citing the excessively long delays in obtaining an EV, the PQ will have the same challenge as the Québec solidaire, namely convincing manufacturers to prioritize Québec. In addition, most manufacturers are already prioritizing Quebec with their electric vehicle offering.

In other parts of the world, the strategy of forcing a percentage of EV sales from manufacturers has had mixed results. Apart from Norway with a vehicle fleet comprising more than 60% electric vehicles, no other country in Europe has more than 20% of its fleet of electrified vehicles.

liberal party

  • Triple the number of charging stations in Quebec
  • Require the addition of search terminals on all new builds
  • Require manufacturers to display the fuel consumption of their vehicles more clearly in advertisements

The Liberal Party also intends to improve the network of charging stations at the same time as it intends to better inform consumers about the fuel consumption of different vehicles.

Conservative Party

Conservative Party Leader Eric Duhaime
Conservative Party Leader Eric Duhaime
Photo: CANADIAN PRESS / Jacques Boissinot

  • Promote the production of electric vehicles in Quebec
  • Suspend QST on gasoline
  • Gradually reduce subsidies on the purchase of electric vehicles

Unsurprisingly, the Conservative Party would go in a different direction than the QS, the PQ, but also the Liberals and the CAQ. The Quebec branch of the party follows the main lines of the Conservative Party of Canada, namely to promote the development of our own electric vehicles so as not to buy outside the country. In addition, a Conservative government would reduce subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles, as these are no longer relevant, according to chef Eric Duhaime.


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