'Once you drive an electric vehicle, you'll never drive a gas car again'

The largest electric vehicle charging company in Canada has teamed up with the City of London, London Hydro and the federal government to launch public curbside charging stations around the downtown.

London is plugging into electric vehicle use with curbside charging stations

Officials open one of three electric vehicle charging stations in the downtown London, Ontario. (Maram Hijazi/CBC)

Electric car drivers can now plug in their vehicles and get a charge at locations in downtown London.

But you still have to pay for parking.

The electric charging locations are located at:

  • Near the corner of Dundas and Wellington Streets
  • Talbot Street across from the Budweiser Gardens 
  • Pall Mall just off Richmond Street 

The City of London along with London Hydro, the federal government and Flo, Canada's largest electrical vehicle charging network, officially unveiled the three curbside charging stations in the downtown core on Friday. 

"It's a great partnership,"  said Brookes Shean, Flo's general manager for central Canada. "It was the joint effort that made this a success and brought it all together," 

The cost of the project was around $70,000. 

An electric vehicle charging station at the corner of Dundas Street and Wellington Street in downtown London, Ontario. (Maram Hijazi/CBC)

The charging stations are easy to spot with their blue and green paint. The stations are strictly for charging and cannot be used by non-electric vehicles for parking.

Electric car drivers activate the charger through their Flo account — either with a card or by using the Flo app. The cost is $1.50 an hour plus the parking fee. 

More locations coming to London

Flo is currently working to expand the project.

Expect to see parking spots dedicated to charging electric vehicles at Masonville and White Oaks malls. 

"When it comes to future planning, for malls and subdivisions, I think this will start being considered as part of the development," said Nancy Hutton, Director of Public Relations and Corporate Communication at London Hydro. 

Hutton added there are around 500 electric vehicles in London and the new curbside charging stations have been used over 50 times since they opened earlier this month. 

Deputy Mayor Paul Hubert said he hopes this initiative will encourage more people to drive electric cars. The city plans to introduce electric buses and garbage trucks in the near future. 

"Once you drive an electric vehicle, you'll never drive a gas car again, they're just so much better," said Jamie Skimming, manager of air quality at the City of London.