Sourcing critical minerals, EV affordability among issues for manufacturers and automakers, says Jean Marc Leclerc
In his keynote address to a rapt Sudbury audience, Honda Canada president-CEO Jean Marc Leclerc was polite but pointed in his message: in prioritizing speed over practicality in its push for a nationwide adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), Ottawa is putting in jeopardy the very goals it’s striving to achieve.
“While speed is important, it cannot be our only goal or measure of success,” Leclerc said during the 2023 BEV In Depth: Mines to Mobility conference taking place at Cambrian College on June 1. “Making the jump to EVs is, in a word, complex, with many risks involving consumers and stakeholders across the electrification supply chain.”
Leclerc was referencing 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy, the federal government’s ambitious and wide-ranging plan to drastically cut carbon emissions in an effort to combat climate change. As part of the plan, 100 per cent of the vehicles manufactured in and imported to Canada must be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions across its range of products has been a “driving force” for Honda, which Leclerc noted is the world’s largest engine manufacturer. In many ways, Honda has been ahead of its time: the company introduced its first electric vehicle, the Honda EV Plus, to the market in 1997, and its first fuel cell vehicle, the FCX, followed in 1999.