Best TVs 'She-Hulk' Review Up to $1,000 Off Samsung Phones Best Streaming TV Shows Home Bistro Review 8 Great Exercises Amazon Back-to-School Sale Best Phones Under $500

British Columbia passes law aiming for 100% zero-emission sales by 2040

Automakers can purchase credits from the government if they're coming up short.

2018 Nissan Leaf long-term
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

British Columbia this week passed the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act. It sets targets for ZEV sales, measured across all light-duty vehicle sales, including both cars and trucks. It hopes for 10% market share by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040. In this case, ZEV refers to not just battery-electric vehicles, but plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, as well.

"British Columbians are excited about electric cars and the chance to cut both their fuel costs and pollution. It's a win-win for commuters, but British Columbians have had a tough time finding electric cars on dealership lots and often have had to go on long waiting list," said Dan Woynillowicz, policy director for Clean Energy Canada, in a statement. "This new law will help ensure supply keeps up with demand, making it easier for people to go electric while helping B.C. cut carbon pollution and combat climate change."

The CBC reports that the targets are flexible. According to its report, the targets can be adjusted over the next 20 years depending on both ZEV supply and demand. The more EVs are sold, and the more EV charging infrastructure is fleshed out, the more demand should appear.

In terms of critics or concerns, the CBC's report also points to a credit-exchange system whereby automakers are able to purchase ZEV credits from the government to make up for a lack of compliance. Some are concerned that this means automakers can "cheat" and continue avoiding ZEV sales by just paying money. There's truth to that, but at the same time, the cash raised from selling credits should hopefully offset whatever environmental issues non-ZEVs present. Critics are also concerned about the effectiveness of such a policy when neighboring provinces such as Alberta don't have similar laws in place.

The US has smaller-scale ZEV mandates in place in individual states, but the move to completely ban certain types of vehicles has not really taken hold in the US yet. Elsewhere, though, it's gaining traction. Earlier this year, Amsterdam announced its intent to ban gas and diesel cars from its city center by 2030. Central London started levying larger congestion charges on older, dirtier cars in April, too, and the UK as a whole has considered banning new gas and diesel car sales by 2040.

Now playing: Watch this: Nissan Leaf long-term wrap-up: One year of electric feels