The City of Toronto is ramping up its electric vehicle (EV) charger presence with an expected 82 on-street chargers to be installed by the end of 2023.
The first 32 of those chargers were approved by City Council on Wednesday and will be spread across 17 residential on-street permit parking locations.
The approval came as the 20-month Residential and Downtown On-Street Electric Vehicle Charging Station pilot program came to a close after launching in October 2020. The pilot saw 17 on-street EV charging stations installed across nine locations in the city with great success, eliminating "nearly 130 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions that would have otherwise been emitted from internal combustion engine equivalents," according to the City.
“The success of this pilot shows that people are feeling more confident in choosing electric vehicles over gas powered cars," said Councillor Jennifer McKelvie. "Expanding the our city’s public on-street charging infrastructure will support that consumer decision and bring us closer to meeting our target of net zero emissions.”
But Wednesday's Council decision isn't the end of EV chargers coming to the City. Beginning next year, the Toronto Parking Authority will take full responsibility for operating and maintaining the chargers, and according to the City, they are on track to roll out an additional 50 charging stations by the end of 2023.
“We are continuing to increase the number of electric vehicle chargers in our city this year and that work is on track to continue in 2023," said Mayor John Tory. "The success of this green infrastructure pilot is a big step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040 -- one of North America's most ambitious goals. It is also good news for people who want to use electric vehicles in Toronto. We’re not only making it easier to access EV chargers, but also expanding their availability.”
EV chargers have been a high priority for Toronto, with the City now requiring new buildings to have the infrastructure to support EV charging. Funding is also being made available to support EV charging infrastructure installations in existing buildings, and Toronto's Green P parking lots are expected to have up to 500 EV chargers by the end of 2024.
This all comes as part of the City's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040 -- one of the most ambitious targets in North America.
“We know just how critical climate action collaboration is in achieving the ambitious goal of net zero by 2040," said Toronto Hydro President and CEO Anthony Haines. "That’s why we’re particularly proud to have enabled and partnered with the City for this On-Street Electric Vehicle Charging Station pilot. The success of this project demonstrates how electric vehicles can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stands as a foundation for future, collaborative work with the City and others in the local cleantech economy.”