New electric vehicle charging stations coming to Ottawa

Nineteen new electric vehicle charging stations will be built in Ottawa, but people who already drive the cars wish the province had scattered the locations.

Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa wishes more stations were in the country

19 new electric vehicle charging stations are expected to be built in Ottawa by March 31, 2017. (Plug'n Drive Ontario/Wikimedia Commons)

Nineteen new electric vehicle charging stations will be built in Ottawa, but people who already drive the cars wish the province had scattered the locations.

The new Ottawa stations will be built at 10 different locations throughout the city, including one in the parking lot of IKEA, a Tim Hortons on River Road and a McDonald's on Bronson Avenue.

The government is building close to 500 stations across the province.

The $20 million investment under Ontario's Green Investment Fund will "create an unprecedented network of public, electric vehicle stations in cities, along highways, at workplaces and at other public places in Ontario," reads a news release from several area MPPs, including Ottawa Centre's Yasir Naqvi.

The province is working with 24 public and private sector partners to build the stations. 

7,000 electric vehicles in Ontario

There are currently 7,000 electric vehicles on Ontario's road, but Naqvi told CBC News the province hopes to increase that number in an effort to fight climate change.

"It is important that we have a robust electric vehicle charging stations network across the province," said Naqvi, who bought his first fully electric car in February.

"It's only then that people will feel comfortable buying a car, because they will know that they can actually travel from, let's say Ottawa to Toronto, or other parts of the province, because there is a network out there."

Eleven of the Ottawa charging stations will be what's known as level three, which Naqvi said is a "game changer" since they can charge a vehicle in as little as 25 minutes.

Put more stations in rural areas, say some drivers

But some electric vehicles owners in Ottawa said increasing the number of stations won't make a huge difference in their lives.

"Electric owners will probably charge at home 80 per cent of the time," said Gerard Gavrel, the president of the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa.

"But the other 20 per cent [of the time] they're travelling…from what I've seen right now they're probably putting a little too many [stations] in the towns, and not enough out in the country."

Gavrel said he's been studying the addresses for the new stations, and he worries many won't be of much use to vehicles that have a range of 100 kilometres. 

"They might have a problem driving through Ontario because there's a lot of places from what I can see from the maps, there's going to be a little more than that distance."

Cost to use the new stations unclear

The new network of charging stations is expected to be in service by March 31, 2017.

The province has not specified how much it will cost to use the charging stations. 

A spokesperson with the Ministry of Transportation said the "intent is to ensure that these chargers will be affordable to Ontario drivers."

The 19 new electric vehicle charging stations in Ottawa will be built at these 10 locations:

  • Ben Franklin Place - 101 Centrepointe Dr
  • IKEA - 2685 Iris St
  • St. Hubert - 2484 Boulevard St. Joseph
  • McDonalds - 670 Bronson Avenue
  • City of Ottawa Fire Administration Building - 1445 Carling Ave
  • Ottawa Public Parking Lot - 687 Somerset
  • St. Hubert - 4010 Riverside Drive
  • Ottawa Park and Ride - 3347 Fallowfield Rd
  • Tim Horton's - 989 River Rd
  • Ottawa Park and Ride - 130 Earl Grey Dr