Bob Larocque’s industry is planning for a future where the market for their main product, gasoline, begins to evaporate as national and sub-national governments phase out gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles under increasingly ambitious timeframes.
“I need to understand how this will work,” said Larocque, president and CEO of the Ottawa-based Canadian Fuels Association, which represents Canadian oil refineries.
The global shift started with a planned ban on oil-powered vehicles in India in 2017, then Taiwan and Japan, with major economies in the European Union following suit.
Then in September, California became the first North American jurisdiction to announce a ban on internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and light trucks — representing a seismic shift in the market, as the most populous state in the U.S. represents about 10 per cent of American oil demand.
This week the trend arrived in Canada when Quebec Premier Francois Legault made his province the first jurisdiction in the country to ban the sale of gasoline-burning vehicles, beginning in 2035, as part of his massive, $6.7-billion plan to reduce carbon emissions by 37.5 per cent below 1990 levels.