Canada’s heavy-duty vehicle regulations


The Government of Canada is delivering on its promise to fight climate change and grow the economy, understanding that pollution has a real, tangible cost that puts stress on the health of our communities, our economy, and on Canadians themselves. Reducing carbon pollution from the transportation sector is one of the ways the Government is taking action to reduce pollution. It is the right thing to do for our health, our economy, and the environment.

Transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases in Canada, accounting for about 24 percent of all emissions. Greenhouse gases from heavy-duty vehicles in Canada are comparable to emissions from Canada’s nine coal-fired power plants.

Canada’s revised heavy-duty vehicle emissions regulations will reduce greenhouse gases from on-road heavy-duty vehicles, engines, and trailers. The updated regulations apply to both the manufacture and importation of heavy-duty vehicles, engines, and trailers, in Canada.

The regulations will introduce stronger standards for vehicles and engines in model year 2021, and they will increase in stringency up to model year 2027 to give heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers and owners time to adapt.

The updated regulations also introduce standards for trailers that are pulled by transport trucks. These standards are designed to make pulling trailers easier, thus improving a truck’s overall fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The new standards apply to most new trailers manufactured on or after January 1, 2020, with stringency increasing in the years ahead.

Once the updated regulations are fully phased in, some vehicle-types can expect carbon pollution reductions of up to 25 percent from model year 2027 heavy-duty vehicles. The regulations will also improve air quality in Canada and reduce health issues related to air pollution, such as asthma and cardiovascular diseases. Each year, more than 14 000 premature deaths in Canada are linked to air pollution from human activity. Reducing air pollution also helps the economy by enabling Canadian families and businesses to avoid health-related expenses and missed work.


The Government of Canada estimates the transportation sector’s costs to adopt greenhouse-gas-reducing technologies will be more than offset by fuel savings expected from the heavy-duty vehicle emissions regulations.

Overall, the updated regulations are expected to result in approximately $17.7 billion worth of net benefits for Canadians, mainly in the form of fuel savings for owners of heavy-duty vehicles (model years 2020 to 2029):

  • Estimated total economic and environmental benefits are approximately $23.8 billion, mostly due to fuel savings of approximately $19.4 billion.
  • Total costs associated with the new standards are estimated to be about $6.1 billion, largely due to additional costs of about $5.1 billion for the technologies that are expected to be adopted to meet the more stringent emission standards for these vehicles.The regulations also provide incentives for manufacturers of hybrid and electric heavy-duty vehicles. These incentives can reduce industry’s compliance costs.

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