The auto industry and government leaders agree that expanding access to charging stations across the province will help boost electric vehicle (EV) sales.
Speaking on a panel at the Electric Vehicle Conference and Trade Show in Markham, Ontario last week, Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said the most significant challenge in bringing more electric vehicles to Canada’s roads is a lack of supportive infrastructure.
Held at the Markham Hilton May 29th to June 1, this annual conference and trade show brings together key players from government and the auto industry to showcase the latest EV technology.
“I think infrastructure, charging stations, in particular, being deployed more pervasively and being available in more consumer-friendly venues is probably the most important thing at this point,” he said.
Ontario will spend $20 million to build nearly 500 electric vehicle charging stations across the province in 2017. Del Duca says the government will work with 27 private and public sector partners to create a network of charging stations at over 250 different locations.
These charging stations will be set up along highways, in cities, and at workplaces, condominiums and some public places. He hopes a network of charging stations will address the “range anxiety” some consumers have about the limits electric vehicles can travel compared with internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and trucks.
Some locations will have only a Level 2 charger, which can fully charge a vehicle in four to six hours, others will have Level 3 — or Direct Current Fast Chargers — that can charge a vehicle to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, and some will have both.
Ontario recently increased incentives for electric car buyers with rebates of up to $14,000, but the rebates are capped at $3,000 for vehicles priced between $75,000 and $150,000. Those priced over $150,000 are not eligible for rebates.