The Ontario government is providing $91 million to help make electric vehicle (EV) chargers more accessible to the public across the province. The investment will support the uptake of electric vehicles and further strengthen Ontario’s auto industry.

“This investment is the next step forward that will help fill gaps in public charging infrastructure and strengthen Ontario’s position as a leader in battery electric vehicle production,” said Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation. “Providing all Ontarians with convenient, public access to fast and reliable charging will help us move towards our goal of making Made-in-Ontario electric vehicles the top choice for both passenger and commercial drivers.”

Building on the growing success of Ontario’s Ivy Charging Network, which represents the largest public highway fast charging network in the province, this funding will add more EV chargers all across Ontario, including highway rest stops, carpool parking lots, Ontario Parks and in community hubs like hockey arenas and municipal parks.

The province will also introduce the Rural Connectivity Fund to provide rural municipalities the opportunity to apply for provincial funding to support the installation of EV chargers in their communities. Once launched, the new program would put communities in the driver’s seat and ensure EV chargers are placed at local points of interest to encourage adoption outside of urban centres. Program details including eligibility, potential charger locations and how rural communities can apply will be announced later this year.

“Our government is getting shovels in the ground to build critical EV charging infrastructure across our province so workers and families can travel with confidence,” said Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy. “Today’s investment in new public charging stations, alongside our work to reduce electricity prices and provide an ultra-low overnight electricity price plan will support EV adoption and boost our world-leading auto sector as we build the cars of the future here in Ontario.”

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Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, announces support for EV charging network. Credit: Twitter @ToddSmithPC.

Additionally, the government will support the development of business cases for the electric and low emission conversion of the Ontario Public Service fleet and the GO Transit network. In renewing public vehicle fleets, the government will create a Made-in-Ontario strategy towards procuring electric vehicles and low-carbon equipment.

The transportation sector is the largest contributor to Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions, with 36 per cent of all emissions in 2019.

As of February 2022, there are 75,274 EVs registered in Ontario. By 2030, one out of every three automobiles sold will be electric and there are expected to be over one million EVs on the road in Ontario.

The Ontario government with Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation’s joint Ivy Charging Network are installing 69 fast chargers across 23 ONroute locations.

As of March 2022, there are more than 1,800 public charging stations with over 5,000 charging ports in Ontario, including 32 Level 2 EV chargers at carpool parking lots that provide free charging.

Featured image of Ivy Station credit: Ontario Power Generation.

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