Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Hybrid Powertrain Program: Electric, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research

Public Policy and Electrified Transportation

home_project_ppetThe automotive industry is critical to Canada’s economy, contributing approximately one-tenth of Canada’s GDP (gross domestic product). It employs more than 100,000 people directly and 300,000 people indirectly.

In recent years, the auto industry in Canada has faced significant obstacles to growth and expansion. The global recession of 2009 caused a credit crunch, crushing consumer demand for vehicles, while troublesome economic circumstances in North America, Europe, and Asia have augmented what was an already challenging manufacturing landscape characterised by two demanding emissions programs: the United States Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard, which dictates cars on American roads must double their fuel efficiency by 2025, and the European Union Fuel Quality Directive (FQD), which mandates a radical reduction in greenhouse gases and particulate matter emissions from vehicles over the next 10 years, putting an emphasis on the use of renewable electricity supplies as “fuel” to replace petroleum.

As part of the Automotive Policy Research Centre (APRC), researchers at MacAUTO explore past and present policy tools that have supported and transformed the automotive industry in North America. Policy tools such as targeted funding programs, subsidies, tariffs, and education programs all play a role in encouraging consumers to adopt new and unfamiliar technologies. In wielding legislative and regulatory power, governments can activate innovation, commercialization, and growth in automotive and allied sectors to ensure robust, job-rich industries for the future.

The public policy project at MacAUTO focuses on identifying policy initiatives that will catalyze disruptive technological innovations in electrified transportation. The Advanced Automotive Technology Roadmap being developed as part of this project forms a strategic vision for the widespread adoption and use of electric, hybrid electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in Canada and globally.

The Roadmap is relevant to federal and provincial governments, as it will allow Canadian jurisdictions to define a future for the electrification of transportation across all sectors (e.g. passenger cars, commercial vehicles, fleets, and public transit). The Roadmap will also carve out a profitable pathway for automotive assemblers and parts manufacturers who are looking beyond 2025.

By designing a new policy tool relevant to the provincial Government of Ontario and the federal Government of Canada, this project will support sustained investment in electrified transportation, rendering southern Ontario a hub of globally relevant electrified transportation technologies.