Science for Sustainable Development
Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels
Transportation, Environment and Health Canada is a leader in the development of fuel cells and electric
In Canada, growing use of the automobile has contributed to environ- vehicles, which can minimize the emission of air pollutants. Electric
mental problems in some of our major cities. Since 1970, the vehicles are carving out market niches in areas such as warehouses,
number of cars in Canada has increased from 6.6 to 13.9 million. This factories and retirement communities. Hybrid cars, which combine
represents 1 car for each 1.9 Canadians, and each car is being driven gasoline engines with electric motors, are now for sale in Canada. Fuel
further annually. Harmful emissions from gasoline and diesel-powered cell buses and cars show good longer-term potential.
engines include carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile
organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) Infrastructure, such as refueling
and particulates. These emissions contribute to air pollution and stations for alternative fuels, needs
increase the risks of car- to be further developed. Alternative
dio-vascular ailments, fuels are potentially in rich supply
respiratory distress and in Canada. For example, reserves
premature death. These of natural gas are estimated at 30
engines are also a signif- times our annual use. The tech-
icant source of carbon nologies to produce ethanol from
dioxide (CO2), one of the biomass, including wood, and agri-
principal greenhouse cultural products are available. In addition, Canada’s ample supply
gases believed to be of clean electricity could form the basis for the development of a
changing our climate. strong electric vehicle industry.
The Path Forward
We cannot rely on technology alone
New Technologies to achieve more sustainable trans-
Improvements in vehicle emis- portation – we also need to change
sions and fuel efficiency are key our travel behavior and our infra-
goals for sustainable transporta- structure. There is a need to
tion research and development. provide alternatives to private
Thanks to new technologies, car use, such as public transit.
North American vehicles emit Stringent emissions standards,
97% less hydrocarbons, 95% environmentally friendly fuels and
less CO and 83% less NOx than new vehicle technologies can also contribute greatly to minimizing the
in 1971. Since the introduction health and environmental impacts of vehicle and engine use.
of the Corporate Average Fuel
Consumption standard in 1977, fuel efficiency has improved up
to 30%. These improvements have resulted from: The sharing of technology and best practices among the world’s
• Reductions in vehicle weight; nations can help to minimize these impacts. Cooperation can also
• Improvements in aerodynamics and automatic transmissions; promote global fuel standards and help nations to embrace new tech-
• Reductions in rolling resistance and engine friction; nologies. Further research and development of new engines and fuels,
• Changes to powertrains such as diesel and direct injection combined with effective standards, can provide a cleaner environment
gasoline engines for light duty vehicles; and, to people around the world.
• Advances in alternative fuel vehicles.
For information please contact:
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Telephone: +1 613 990-0412
Canada K1A 0N5 www.tc.gc.ca