Metrolinx removes electric vehicle chargers from GO station parking lots

Citing low demand and high costs, Metrolinx has removed 24 chargers from parking lots, ending a pilot program established by the previous Liberal government that was initially supposed to run for three years.

The charging stations were being used 0.8 times per day on average

The stations, which were operated by Chargepoint, were installed at 12 GO stations around the GTHA. (Toby Talbot/Associated Press)

Citing low demand, Metrolinx has removed its electric vehicle charging stations at GO station parking lots across the GTHA 

The provincial transit agency took the 24 chargers out of service on Nov. 21, 2018, ending a pilot program established by the previous Liberal government that was supposed to run for three years.

"We found low demand for the charging stations, and the program's costs were greater than any revenue," reads a statement on the Metrolinx website.

The Ministry of Transportation says each charging unit generated around $450 in revenue per year, against an annual operating cost of around $2,000.

The chargers were used less than once per day on average, according to Metrolinx figures.

In 2017, the chargers were used a total of 3,610 times at the 12 stations where they were installed.

Despite those figures and claims that the charging stations were financially unfeasible, the official opposition says the decision will ultimately prove to be a shortsighted one.

"By ripping down electric vehicle charging stations that are already installed, Doug Ford is dragging Ontario backward and burning money," wrote NDP climate change critic Peter Tabuns in a statement.

"This move sucks for drivers, it sucks for people considering buying an electric vehicle, it sucks for the environment, and it's going to suck when we need to pay again to rebuild what Ford is tearing down," he added.

However, a spokesperson from Metrolinx says it was the transit agency, not Ford's government, that made the decision to decommission the chargers.

While the charging units have been removed from the lots, Metrolinx says the underlying infrastructure, including wiring, conduits and mounting units, remains in place.

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