Toronto Launches E-Vehicle Charging Station Pilot

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Picture courtesty: FLO

TORONTO: Mayor John Tory announced this week that the City of Toronto and Toronto Hydro has officially launched the new on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging station pilot across the city.

The new 12-month pilot, delivered in partnership with Toronto Hydro, sees 17 on-street EV charging stations – made possible by Toronto Hydro through an agreement with charge station manufacturer FLO – installed and activated for public use at locations around the city.

On-street stations have been installed and activated in the following neighborhood parking permit locations:
• Alton Avenue near Queen Street East (two charging stations)
• Bowmore Road near Eastwood Road (one charging station)
• Mountjoy Avenue near Gillard Avenue (two charging stations)
• Palmerston Avenue near Queen Street West (two charging stations)
• Shaw Street near Dundas Street West (two charging stations)
• Westlake Avenue near Oakcrest Avenue (two charging stations)

Stations have also been installed and activated at three other locations, including two downtown sites:
• Commissioners Street near Carlaw Avenue (two charging stations)
• Elizabeth Street near Foster Place (two charging stations)
• Wellington Street West near Clarence Square (two charging stations)

The charging station parking spots are open to all electric vehicle owners with a “Level 2” connection on their vehicle. Overnight, when permit parking regulations are in effect, only permit holders with an electric vehicle that is actively being charged (plugged in) can park in these spots. Users will be charged a rate to charge their electric vehicle. Toronto Hydro, in agreement with the City of Toronto, established the EV charging rates, which are competitive with the cost of other public charging stations in Toronto.

To use the stations, EV drivers can quickly register for an account online with FLO, Canada’s Largest EV charging network. Once signed up, users can download the app and order a FLO card that they will use to activate the station and charge their vehicle. Locations were selected because they have enough capacity for dedicated EV parking spots which allowed for easy installation with minimal disruption to pedestrians and the community.

In total, 11 residential parking permit spots in three City wards have been allocated for use by electric vehicles that are charging.

An on-street electric charging station. Picture: FLO

More Toronto residents than ever before own electric vehicles. In 2018, more than 6,200 EVs were registered in Toronto compared to just 1,600 EVs in 2016, and that number continues to increase. In a poll conducted in preparation for the pilot, 71 per cent of residents who participated were likely to purchase an EV in the next five years, and more said that they would consider purchasing EVs if charging stations were available.

The pilot will be measured against a variety of information including usage data, feedback from electric vehicle owners who use the stations, and feedback from the community. In 2019, Toronto City Council voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency and adopted a stronger emissions reduction target: net-zero by 2050 or sooner.

The EV charging station pilot is one of many initiatives that will help the City advance that goal. More about the EV Charging Stations Pilot and locations at torontohydro.com/evcharging

Mayor John Tory said: “Addressing climate change has been a top priority for our city. By adopting emerging, sustainable and environmentally sensible technologies, Toronto has become a leader in its efforts in addressing the ongoing climate crisis.

“The EV charging station pilot is yet another example of our city’s ability to introduce programs that will make it easier for residents to become environmentally friendly and for our city to reduce its carbon footprint.

“While we continue to navigate the unprecedented times of a global pandemic, we must also remain diligent in our commitment to finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Councillor Brad Bradford (Ward 19 Beaches-East York), said: “This is very exciting news for residents in the pocket in and around Westlake Avenue. Governments at all levels are adopting and testing electric vehicle technology, and more and more people own and drive EVs because they’re not only safe, they’re also the right choice for a better, cleaner environment.

Every government has a role in creating pathways to EV ownership, this is a great step forward at the municipal level, “ he added..

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