Goodbye, gas guzzlers: ban on sale of gas vehicles in Quebec by 2035 expected to be announced Monday

Gasoline-powered vehicles could be off Quebec's roads within 15 years, as the provincial government is anticipated to announce an ambitious new environmental plan this week.

The anticipated announcement was welcomed by environmentalists on Saturday.

“It's a big step forward,” said Equiterre mobility analyst Andreanne Brazeau. “It sends a strong signal to the auto market and to consumers as well.”

According to a La Presse report, Environment Minister Benoit Charette will announce a ban on the sale of new gas vehicles by 2035.

The province currently offers a rebate of up to $8,000 on sales of electric cars, but George Iny of the Automobile Protection Association said consumers will need more than subsidies to make the switch.

“You need an infrastructure, you need answers for people who live in apartments and other dwellings because the current, haphazard way of putting chargers in onesies and twosies on street corners will never do the trick,” he said.

The plan could have effects outside the environment. Automobile mechanics teacher Yves Racette said people in his profession will have to adapt to new technology.

“You need to be, first of all, secure and you have to take your security really seriously,” he said. “You have to get all this knowledge for not getting zapped. There's a lot of people that are used to what they're doing right now. Electric is putting a challenge on them.”

Brazeau said the ban is just a start towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The kind of policy that we would need is something like a fee-bate system which would impose a progressive tax on high-emitting vehicles,” she said.

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