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AMF - Implementing Agreement on Advanced Motor Fuels

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Advanced Motor Fuels in Canada


Drivers and Policies

Renewable Fuels Regulations (RFRs)[1]

The RFRs require fuel producers and importers to have an average renewable content of (1) at least 5% based on the volume of gasoline that they produce or import into Canada and (2) at least 2% based on the volume of diesel fuel and heating distillate oil that they produce or import into Canada. The regulations include provisions that govern the creation of compliance units, allow trading of these units among participants, and also require recordkeeping and reporting to ensure compliance.

Clean Fuel Standard (CFS)[2]

The CFS will require producers, importers, or distributors to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels, which includes the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with production, processing, distribution and use of a fuel. The CFS will be technology-neutral and set different reduction targets for gas, liquid and solid fuels. The aim is to publish draft regulations by late 2018. Once implemented, the CFS will help drive clean growth in Canada, while reducing GHG emissions by 30 megatonnes (Mt) annually by 2030.

Renewable-fuels-related Standards

The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) is the responsible authority for developing fuel quality standards, including standards for renewable fuel quality through a consensus process with the public and private sectors. Table 1 shows the biofuel-related standards for transportation.

Table 1    CGSB Renewable Fuel-quality-related Standards[3]

Fuel Standard


Oxygenated automotive gasoline containing ethanol (E1–E10)

CAN/CGSB 3.511

Automotive ethanol fuel (E50–E85)

CAN/CGSB 3.512

Denatured fuel ethanol for use in automotive spark ignition fuels

CAN/CGSB 3.516

Diesel fuel containing low levels of biodiesel (B1–B5)

CAN/CGSB 3.520

Diesel fuel containing biodiesel (B6–B20)

CAN/CGSB 3.522

Biodiesel (B100) for blending in middle distillate fuels

CAN/CGSB 3.524


Passenger Automobile and Light Truck GHG Emission Regulations[4]

In 2010, the Government of Canada released the final Passenger Automobile and Light Truck GHG Emission Regulations, which prescribe progressively more stringent annual emission standards for new vehicles (i.e., model years 2011–2016). In 2014 the second phase of action on light-duty vehicles (LDVs), which contain increasingly stringent GHG emissions standards for LDVs of model years 2017–2025 were published. Under both phases of LDV regulations, spanning model years 2011–2025, the sales-weighted fuel efficiency of new cars is projected to improve from 8.6 liters per 100 kilometers (L/100 km) in 2010 to 6.4 L/100 km in 2020 and to 5.1 L/100 km by 2025. The sales-weighted fuel efficiency of new passenger light trucks is projected to improve from 12.0 L/100 km in 2010 to 9.1 L/100 km in 2020 and to 7.6 L/100 km by 2025.

Heavy-duty Vehicle (HDV) and Engine GHG Emission Regulations[5]

The Heavy-duty Vehicle and Engine GHG Emission Regulations establish mandatory GHG emission standards for new on-road HDVs and engines. The regulations apply to companies manufacturing and importing new on‑road HDVs and engines of model years 2014 and later for the purpose of sale in Canada. These include the whole range of on-road, heavy-duty, full-size pickup trucks, vans, tractors, and buses, as well as a wide variety of vocational vehicles such as freight, delivery, service, cement, and dump trucks. The regulations also include provisions that establish compliance flexibilities, which include a system for generating, banking, and trading emission credits. The regulations include additional credits for hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as for innovative technologies to reduce GHG emissions. The average fuel efficiency of trucks will improve from 2.3 L/100 tonne-km in 2012 to 2.2 L/100 tonne-km by 2020.


Advanced Motor Fuels Statistics

Figure 1 shows the energy use by fuel type in 2013 for transportation in Canada. Table 2 shows the Canadian supply of and demand for ethanol and biodiesel in 2015.


Fig. 1    Energy Use by Fuel Type for Transportation in 2013[6]

Table 2    Canadian Supply of and Demand for Biofuels in 2015 (in millions of liters)[7]


Ethanol (2015)

Biodiesel (2015)

Canadian production









Domestic use




Research and Demonstration Focus

ecoTECHNOLOGY for Vehicles (eTV) Program[8]

Transport Canada’s eTV Program tests the safety, environmental impact, and driving performance of new technologies for passenger cars and heavy-duty trucks. Testing results from the eTV Program help provide the information needed to create regulations and standards for these new products.

Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative[9]

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is investing to expand the network of electric vehicle charging and alternative refuelling stations across the nation as part of the government’s efforts to encourage Canadians to reduce their carbon footprint. The funding will support the deployment of electric chargers; natural gas and hydrogen refuelling stations; the demonstration of new, innovative electric vehicle charging technologies; and the development of codes and standards.

Energy Innovation Program (EIP)[10]

NRCan’s EIP supports clean energy innovation. Accelerating clean technology research and development (R&D) is a key component of the Government of Canada’s approach to promoting sustainable economic growth and to supporting Canada’s transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD)[11]

PERD is a federal, interdepartmental program operated by NRCan. PERD supports energy R&D conducted in Canada by the federal government and is concerned with all aspects of energy supply and use. Part of PERD consists of coordinated research activities designed to extend key areas of knowledge and technology that will help reduce both the carbon footprint of fuels and vehicle emissions from transportation sources in Canada.

Vehicle Propulsion Technologies (VPT) Program[12]

The National Research Council Canada’s VPT program assists Canadian automotive manufacturers to improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines, powertrains, and the use of electric and fuel cell propulsion.

Strategic Innovation Fund[13]

The Strategic Innovation Fund, managed by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, allocates repayable and non-repayable contributions to firms of all sizes across all of Canada’s industrial and technology sectors. The program consolidates and simplifies the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative, Technology Demonstration Program, Automotive Innovation Fund, and Automotive Supplier Innovation Program.



As depicted in Table 3, the transportation sector consists of several distinct subsectors — passenger, freight, air, and others (e.g. recreational). Each subsector exhibits different trends during the projected period. For example, GHG emissions from cars, trucks, and motorcycles are projected to decrease by 25 Mt between 2005 and 2030, while those for heavy-duty trucks and rail are projected to increase by 11 Mt over the same time period. Although absolute emissions are expected to grow in the freight subsector due to economic growth, emissions are expected to decrease relative to business-as-usual levels as a result of various federal, provincial, and territorial programs.[14]

Passenger energy demand declines over the projection period, largely due to increasing fuel economy associated with Canada’s Passenger Automobile and Light Truck GHG Emission Regulations. Since passenger travel consumes the majority of gasoline in the transportation sector, this leads to a decrease in the fuel share of gasoline demand. Freight demand is driven by growth in the goods-producing industries and increases at a slower rate than it did from 1990 to 2013. This is from fuel economy gains, associated with Canada’s Heavy Duty Vehicle and Engine GHG Emission Regulations and somewhat slower economic growth over the projection period. The increase in freight share leads to an increase in the fuel share of diesel.[15]


Table 3    Transportation: GHG Emissions (Mt CO2 equivalent)[16]

Transportation Subsector




∆ 2005 to 2030

Passenger Transport





Cars, trucks, and motorcycles





Bus, rail, and domestic aviation





Freight Transport





Heavy-duty trucks, rail





Domestic aviation and marine





Other: recreational, commercial and residential











[1]    http://www.ec.gc.ca/energie-energy/default.asp?lang=En&n=0AA71ED2-1.

[2]    https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2017/12/canada_s_clean_fuelstandardhowitwillwork.html.

[3]    http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/index-eng.html.

[4]       https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/publications/emission-trends-2014.html.

[5]    https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/publications/emission-trends-2014.html.

[6]    https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/energy/pdf/

[7]    https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/energy/pdf/

[8]    https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/ecotechnology-vehicles-program.html.

[9]    https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/alternative-fuels/fuel-facts/ecoenergy/

[10]   https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/funding/current-funding-programs/

[11]   http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/funding/current-funding-programs/perd/4993.

[12]   https://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/solutions/collaborative/vpt.html.

[13]   https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/programs/strategic-innovation-fund.html.

[14]   https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/publications/emission-trends-2014.html.

[15]   https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/nrg/ntgrtd/ftr/2016/index-eng.html.

[16]   https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/publications/2016-greenhouse-gas-emissions-case/chapter-2.html.