With more than 60% of vehicles in Quebec set to be electric by 2035, Transport Minister Franకోois Bonardell is frustrated that opponents are “blatantly lying” about the environmental impact of the third link.
In an interview with our Parliamentary Bureau, Mr. Bonardell and his colleague Jonathan Julian from Natural Resources made a point of responding to some of the arguments made by opponents of the Third Link.
At the top of the list: Fear of a significant increase in greenhouse gases. “This is wrong,” said Minister Bonnardell, who expects a “significant reduction in GHGs” when the tunnel scheduled for 2031 is put into service.
In support of the table, a few years after its inauguration, “what enters the tunnel, it becomes electric vehicles”, assesses his colleague who is responsible for the energy conversion file.
“There is no gasoline circulating in the tunnel,” Mr. Julian suggested.
“It’s not a question of whether it’s green: it’s 100% vehicles,” Mr Bonardell added. This goal will be reached five to seven years after the ban on sales of new gasoline-based vehicles, scheduled for 2035, comes into force.
Their presentation is based on the Plan for a Green Economy of Quebec (PEV), one of whose goals is to reach the 1.5 million electric vehicles in circulation by 2030. Minister Julian felt that this was a “fairly conservative” goal. Easily achieved.
The project is hard to do
According to him, rivals of the third link “are very difficult to predict themselves”, because currently 97% of cars are gasoline.
“People talk to us about the Quebec-Lewis tunnel and see it with today’s models,” Mr. Julian observed. And this is, in his opinion, an error. For the idea that the tunnel would increase congestion, Mr. Bonardell believes that the 50,000 vehicles that use it are “already in the networks, morning and evening on two major bridges.”
If he expects a “slight increase” in traffic, it will be mainly due to population, according to him.
That is why we need to “build a tunnel to keep the network safe and to have public transport service in Quebec, a city built for automobiles, in a way that consumers have never known,” Mr Bonardell argued.
When asked about the urban expansion that would result from the project, Mr. Julian likes to talk about “effective mobility”.
Mr. Bonnardell encounters the phenomenon of amplification by densification and interminsterial action. He recalled that I had always said that we would protect farmland.
More Electric vehicles
Evolution of Quebec’s Electric Vehicle Fleet
- April 2021: 100 000
- September 2021: 121 000 (I.e. 2.1% of the total number of vehicles)
- Projection 2023: 240 000
- Projection 2025: 480 000
- Goal 2030: 1,5 million
- Projection 2035: 3.5 million (I.e. 63% of the total number of vehicles)
- Projection 2040: 5.2 million (I.e. 100% of the total number of vehicles)
Source: Government of Quebec