The Canadian government is providing some new resources for drivers to help them make informed choices about the greenest vehicles to buy. The ecoENERGY for Personal Vehicles program will setup websites, and provide labels and guides so that people can learn about the efficiency of the cars that are available for sale. This is all part of the voluntary program with the car-makers to reduce annual Canadian greenhouse gas emissions by 5.3 million tonnes annually by 2010. In 2011 mandatory efficiency regulations will take effect in Canada for the first time. The program will also help fund driver training on how to drive more efficiently and also change habits that will lead to reduce fuel consumption.
The second new program is called ecoTechnology for Vehicles and will involve buying and testing alternative fuel vehicles, powered by electric, hybrid and fuel cell power-trains and then displaying them at public events around the country. The intent is to raise public awareness of new technologies and help to create a market for alternative power-trains. The new guides are available at car dealers and licensing offices across Canada and online at www.vehicles.gc.ca.

[Source: Transport Canada]

No. GC 005/07
For release February 14, 2007

CANADA'S NEW GOVERNMENT HELPS CANADIANS
CHOOSE MORE ECO-FRIENDLY VEHICLES

TORONTO - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment, announced today at the Toronto Auto Show that two new programs will help Canadians choose more eco-friendly vehicles. As part of its ecoTransport Strategy, Canada's New Government will commit up to $36 million in funding for new programs aimed at raising awareness, increasing availability of more environmentally friendly cars and trucks, and encouraging Canadians to make informed choices when purchasing a vehicle.

With up to $15 million in funding, the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program will involve purchasing and testing a range of advanced technologies - including hydrogen, advanced electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles - and showcasing them at public events across Canada.

"Road vehicles are a major contributor to domestic air pollution and the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada," said Minister Cannon. "The goal of the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program is to test the effectiveness and safety of advanced environmental technologies for vehicles, share our results with Canadians and help them make informed decisions about the cars they buy."

Minister Cannon, on behalf the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, also announced $21 million for ecoENERGY for Personal Vehicles. This program will provide fuel consumption information and decision-making tools such as vehicle labels, guides and interactive websites, to encourage consumers to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles that are currently available in the market.

Through these programs, Canada's New Government will work with the auto industry to make new vehicles more fuel-efficient. Together, these programs will play an important role in helping the auto industry to achieve the 5.3 megatonne reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions from light duty vehicles in Canada. The industry has agreed to pursue this target between now and 2010, following which new fuel consumption regulations will come into effect for the 2011 model year.

"Canada's New Government is taking action to deliver real reductions in air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and harmful substances in our communities," said Minister Baird, who was also on hand at the auto show. "The two programs launched today will help Canadians make informed decisions about buying eco-friendly vehicles. We will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments as well as with the broader transportation community to develop a practical, cost-effective approach to protecting the environment so that present and future generations of Canadians benefit from a country that is cleaner, greener, and healthier."

The ecoTransport Strategy of Canada's New Government is aimed at improving the health of Canadians and the environment by reducing the environmental impacts of transportation; securing Canada's future prosperity and competitiveness by making critical transportation infrastructure sustainable both economically and environmentally; and promoting an efficient transportation system that supports choice and the high quality of life that Canadians expect.

Prime Minister Harper recently announced the Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change, which will be designed to provide financial support to provincial and territorial projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. The resources for this initiative will consist of $1.5 billion of new funding on a national basis.

The new funding will be contained in the upcoming budget and is a part of the actions to be taken on the fiscal imbalance. It will be available as soon as Parliament approves the budget.

Backgrounders and fact sheets on the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program are attached. A media backgrounder with more details on the ecoENERGY for Personal Vehicles program is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

- 30 -

Contacts:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities
613-991-0700

Eric Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Environment, Gatineau
819-997-1441

Robin Browne
Communications
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

Environment Canada
Media Relations
819-934-8008 / 1-888-908-8008

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at apps.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport Canada.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


Backgrounder

ECOTECHNOLOGY FOR VEHICLES -
STEER IN THE DIRECTION OF
AN ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TOMORROW

Canadians everywhere can do their part to help ensure a clean, healthy environment. It starts by making the right choices in our lives. And that includes choosing vehicles with improved fuel efficiency.

There are a lot of new, advanced technologies that are either available now in the consumer market - such as hybrid gas/electric cars - or coming in the near future, such as hydrogen-powered engines. But it can be daunting making the right choice for your family or your company fleet.

As part of its environmental agenda, the Government of Canada has launched the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program to help Canadians make informed choices when purchasing a vehicle. Building on the successful fuel-efficiency programs that Canadians have relied on for many years, the new program will include in-depth testing and publishing of the safety and environmental performance of a range of emerging technologies for use in light-duty vehicles.

The program will showcase these new environmentally friendly technologies at auto shows across the country and help provide Canadians with the facts they need to make informed decisions. There is another important benefit offered by the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program: it will foster important new partnerships with the automobile industry and others across the country to help remove barriers to the introduction of environmental technologies in Canada.

The ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program builds on the major infrastructure investments that the Government of Canada announced in the 2006 federal budget, and other measures announced in the fall, like regulating the emissions of the industrial and auto sectors. These measures are part of the Government of Canada's ambitious and realistic agenda to protect the health of Canadians and the environment in Canada and demonstrates that this Government understands the importance of addressing climate change.

Get the facts about eco-friendly vehicles and make the right choices for a clean, healthy environment. Together, we can build a sustainable environment for all.

Want to know more about the Government of Canada's environmental agenda and the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program? Visit us online at www.tc.gc.ca.

February 2007


FACT SHEET

ECOTECHNOLOGY FOR VEHICLES

Transport Canada's ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program is designed to raise awareness among Canadians about advanced environmental vehicle technologies and their benefits, and to help them make informed decisions about purchasing vehicles that use clean technologies.

With up to $15 million in funding, this program is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from on-road vehicles by:

  • evaluating the fuel-efficiency, emissions and safety performance of advanced technology vehicles;
  • identifying opportunities and market potential for the introduction and use of advanced technology vehicles;
  • identifying barriers to the introduction and use of advanced technology vehicles and recommending solutions; and
  • raising public awareness of advanced technology vehicles.

The ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program will involve purchasing and testing a range of advanced technologies - including hydrogen, advanced electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles - and showcasing them at public events across Canada.

Near and long-term advanced technologies suitable for the Canadian vehicle market will also be featured. These technologies will include more efficient and cleaner gasoline and diesel engines, electric, solar, hydrogen fuel cells, biodiesel, etc., as well as individual advanced technology vehicle components.

In addition, the program will focus on building strong partnerships with the automotive industry and others, to encourage penetration of a broader range of environmental technologies and vehicles into the Canadian new vehicle fleet. These include:

  • powertrain and engine improvements;
  • advanced valve control to enhance vehicle efficiency;
  • lightweight materials;
  • aerodynamics;
  • tire technologies; and
  • advanced engine technologies such as hybrid, advanced electric, fuel cell, and hydrogen technologies.

There are more than 18 million motor vehicles registered in Canada, which account for approximately one-eighth of the greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

Advanced technologies will play an important role in helping the auto industry to achieve the 5.3 megatonne reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions from light duty vehicles in Canada. The industry has agreed to pursue this target under a voluntary agreement with the government between now and 2010, following which new fuel consumption regulations will come into effect for the 2011 model year.

Preliminary estimates suggest that the program will result in a reduction in the order of 500 kilotonnes (kt) of greenhouse gas reductions in 2010, as well as reductions of the following air pollutants: sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and ammonia.

The sustainability of Canada's transportation system relies on the reduction of air emissions from transportation sources and the development of cleaner transportation systems, practices and technologies. Through the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program, Transport Canada will facilitate the introduction and use of clean, safe and efficient advanced technology vehicles.

February 2007


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