Ontario invests $91M to add EV charging stations in smaller communities

Click to play video: 'Ontario rolls out program covering electric vehicle chargers in small communities'
Ontario rolls out program covering electric vehicle chargers in small communities
33 MINUTES AGO Ontario is opening a new program to expand access to electric vehicle chargers. Officials announced the program in Port Hope, specifically targeting small communities. Robert Lothian reports – Oct 20, 2023

The Ontario government is investing $91 million to expand electric vehicle charging stations in small and medium-sized communities.

In Port Hope on Friday morning, Prabmeet Sarkaria, minister of transportation, said the province is now accepting applications for the EV ChargeON program to build charging stations in communities with a population of less than 170,000, along with any Indigenous community. The program will build more electric vehicle (EV) chargers on government-owned land, including highway rest areas, carpool parking lots and tourist destinations such as parks.

“Building more public charging stations is part of our government’s plan to be a global leader in the electric vehicle industry and provide more travel options for commuters,” Sarkaria stated. “The EV ChargeON program will help get more electric vehicles on the road by building the infrastructure needed to support them while securing a better future for Ontario.”

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The province says as of September, there were more than 2,900 public charging stations with 7,900 ports (outlets) in Ontario, serving more than 135,000 registered EVs, including both battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The province estimates there will be more than one million EVs registered.

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Eligible applicants for the Ev ChargeON program include businesses, not-for-profit corporations, municipalities, Indigenous businesses, organizations and communities, and public sector organizations such as hospitals and universities. The deadline to submit an application is Jan. 31, 2024.

“Our government is paving the way towards an electric future by building the infrastructure needed to support the electrification of transportation across Ontario,” said Todd Smith, minister of energy. “This program will deliver thousands of chargers across the province, which will be powered by our reliable, affordable and clean electricity grid, making EV travel for businesses and families easier than ever.”

Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini, minister of the environment, says he’s proud of the government’s plan to “lead the way” in the EV industry with more charging stations.

“By investing in this critical infrastructure, we are providing more options for commuters and families in Port Hope, Peterborough and across the province to help us build a clean, green and prosperous Ontario,” he said.

Mayor Olena Hankivsky of the Municipality of Port Hope says the announcement is welcome news for her community and others.

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“We are excited about the Ontario government’s initiative to expand access to EV chargers across the province,” she said. “Today’s announcement will give EV drivers more confidence and convenience.”

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