MONTREAL -- The federal government is appointing an advisory group to develop a plan for getting more zero-emission vehicles on Canada's roads, as part of efforts to reduce the output of gases linked to global warming.

The government estimates that cars and light trucks accounted for 12 per cent of the country's total emissions in 2015.

The panel's job is to come up with with options for addressing barriers to the use of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), including vehicle supply, cost, infrastructure readiness and public awareness.

The federal, provincial and territorial governments have committed to work with industry and stakeholders to develop a Canada-wide ZEV strategy by 2018.

Those emissions might be reduced by increasing the use of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

But automakers have said it will be very challenging to meet the target thresholds because electric vehicles only make up a sliver of the market. In Canada, just 0.56 per cent of vehicles sold last year were electric.