KAWARTHA LAKES-Ontario says it is bringing electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers directly to the province’s busiest highways with the deployment of Ivy Charging Network chargers at all ONroute locations. Chargers at 17 ONroute locations will be open in time for next summer, with another three ONroute locations opening before the end of 2022.
“Ontario is putting shovels in the ground to build critical infrastructure including highways,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “Our agreement with Ivy, ONroute and Canadian Tire to construct EV chargers at all of the province’s 23 ONroute stations is an important step forward, allowing EV owners to travel our great province with more freedom and confidence. This deployment will reduce barriers to EV ownership, supporting Ontario’s growing EV manufacturing market and critical minerals sector, and help achieve Ontario’s goal of building at least 400,000 electric and hybrid vehicles by 2030.”
Meanwhile, in 2019 the Ontario government came under fire after 24 EV chargers were removed from parking at 12 GO train stations in the Greater Toronto Area. 24 stations in total were removed in November 2018. News of the removal was first reported by CBC in January 2019. Officials say the chargers averaged 0.8 sessions per day at three hours per session and cost $2,000 each per year to operate while generating revenue of only $450 per unit.
The province say the deployment of charging infrastructure will see ONroute locations along highways 401 and 400 equipped with at least two EV chargers at each site, with busier sites equipped with more. The EV chargers will be available to all drivers on a pay per use basis and will serve all vehicle types.
“With more electric vehicles coming onto our roads each year, it’s vital that drivers have the ability to conveniently charge their vehicles along the province’s busiest highways,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “In addition to building new highways that will alleviate congestion in Ontario, the installation of Ivy Charging Networks at all ONroute locations is a big step forward to support EV owners.”
These chargers will further encourage the electrification of the transportation sector in Ontario by making EV charging more accessible, and as the EV population grows more chargers may be added at each site. The electrification of the province’s vehicles will continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by shifting away from gas-powered vehicles and utilizing Ontario’s 94 per cent emissions-free electricity supply.
“I welcome the news on a further expansion of electric vehicle charging across the province. This joint venture signals Ontario’s continued efforts to drive down emissions in the province, while making electric vehicles more accessible to Ontarians,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Increased charging across Ontario ONroute locations means more opportunities for clean, green transportation in the future.”
This initiative builds on the government’s Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector plan to create a domestic EV battery ecosystem in the province and position Ontario as a North American automotive innovation hub, by working to support the continued pivot to electric, low-carbon, connected and autonomous vehicles.
“The future of the automotive sector is shifting to electric vehicle production, and this critical announcement in partnership with Ivy, ONroute and Canadian Tire means that Ontario will have the infrastructure in place to support the shift to more EVs on our roads,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Through the second phase of our Driving Prosperity plan, our government is preparing Ontario to be a world-leader in the transition to EVs by closing deals for new automaker mandates for hybrid and battery EVs, attracting a new battery assembly plant to the province and increasing exports of Ontario-made auto parts and innovations around the globe.”
As of October 2021, there are 66,757 EVs registered in Ontario. Officials say by 2030, one out of every three automobiles sold will be electric. It’s unclear if the province plants to add additional hydroelectric capacity to keep these cars running.