Toronto

Electric vehicle chargers coming to ONroute rest stops by summer

Energy and Transportation Ministers expected to announce that at least two chargers will be installed at each site, with more at busier locations.

Chargers at 17 out of 23 stations along Highways 401 and 400 should be open by the summer

Electric vehicle charging stations are expected to roll out at most ONroute rest stop locations across Ontario by the summer. (Jill English/CBC)

Electric vehicle charging stations are set to be installed at most ONroute rest stops in Ontario by next summer.

Energy Minister Todd Smith and Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney made the announcement Wednesday and said each site will have at least two chargers, with busier locations equipped with more.

The pay-per-use charging stations will be installed by Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation's joint network called Ivy, and won't involve direct funding from the provincial government itself.

After Premier Doug Ford came to power in 2018, the government stopped building a network of public charging stations, with agencies and companies stepping in to meet some of the demand.

Ford also cancelled electric vehicle rebates that year, but in recent weeks has been speaking about wanting to make Ontario an electric vehicle manufacturing leader.

Chargers at 17 out of 23 ONroute stations along Highways 401 and 400 should be open by the summer, with another three open by the end of next year, while the rest stops in Maple, Ingersoll and Newcastle are being renovated and won't have chargers for another couple of years.

"This deployment will reduce barriers to EV ownership, supporting Ontario's growing EV manufacturing market, critical minerals sector and help achieve Ontario's goal of building at least 400,000 electric and hybrid vehicles by 2030," Smith said in a statement.

Natural Resources Canada provided a $3.45-million loan to Ivy for the project, amounting to 30 per cent of the total cost.

"We're making it easier for people in Ontario and across Canada to drive electric," Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a statement. "This is a critical part of lowering emissions in the transportation sector and achieving our climate targets."

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