August 10, 2022 6:45 AM

Is Ontario’s electric vehicles program going nowhere?

Last year saw Ontario lead Canada’s adoption of electric vehicles, but is it still keeping up now?

/ Published 4 years ago

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As the 21st century saw the world turning to a more environmentally and socially aware stance and movement, numerous nations started adopting new technologies that can help with this progress, prioritizing those that can help lessen global problems like global warming. One such solution is the rise of electric cars, which can potentially lessen the use of fossil fuels that emit gasses that further the damage done in the atmosphere, as well as open a new avenue for sustainable fuel.

Electric cars have been around for quite some time, although it’s only in the more recent years when these electricity-powered vehicles are given much-needed space in the limelight, with Canada as one of the countries that focused on doing it. Of course, given Canada’s world-renowned tech sector, it’s not a surprise that the G7 nation is pushing significant efforts to further adapt the electric vehicles. In fact, a previous report made by Canada’s Fleetcarma electric vehicle adoption grew significantly during last year in the country, with sales growing 68 percent last year, or equivalent to almost 50,000 plug-in vehicles.

The bulk of the increase can be attributed to a 120 percent increase in Ontario, which drove sales in the entire country.

Ontario and its electric vehicles in 2018

However, despite the clear growth that was observed last year, 2018 still came with challenges and hurdles, especially for e-vehicles. The beginning of the year came with failed and canceled programs in the province. Ontario however, is not so keen on giving up, and the province is still hoping for a second boost from its own federal government.

Earlier this year, the Toronto Sun investigated the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario program, which is a 2016 Liberal program made to spend $20 million on a network of 500 charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) across the province.

Originally, the goal of this network was to “enable EV drivers to travel between and within cities,” as well as boost the sales for electric cars and “fight climate change.”

electric vehicles
Government-funded charging stations are reportedly often unused. (Source)

However, the investigation found out that only half of the charging stations (55 percent) were built by March 2017. Furthermore, according to customers, government-funded charging stations are often unused, while others are either frequently broken or in a state of disrepair. The reason for this is because, at present, the government still lacks the ability to track whether these charging stations are being used or just neglected.

So where does this leave the province?

Well, according to Toronto Electric Vehicle Association President Paul Raszewski, the first step is to focus on pushing the government to start incentive programs that can help out the drivers of these electric vehicles.

He said, “It would be nice if the current provincial government would enforce whatever previous contracts were signed by the previous government to make sure they would get built, but we’re not spending our energy on that.”

There’s no doubt that the use of electric vehicles will catch on in the near future, but until then, looks like it will have to go through some hurdles first.

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