Toronto

Ontario bolts forward with $20M plan to build electric charging stations

The Ontario government says it will spend $20 million to build nearly 500 electric charging stations for vehicles in 2017 in an effort to combat climate change.

Highways, workplaces and condos among potential sites

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says the provincial government will work to create a network of charging stations at more than 250 different locations. (Hannah Yoon/Canadian Press)

Ontario will spend $20 million to build nearly 500 electric vehicle charging stations across the province in 2017.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says the government will work with 27 private and public sector partners to create a network of charging stations at more than 250 different locations.

Del Duca says they will be set up along highways, in cities, and at workplaces, condominiums and some public places.

The transportation minister made the announcement in Mississauga alongside Mayor Bonnie Crombie. The move was initially made public last December while the premier was in Paris for climate change talks.

The money is coming from the province's $325 million green investment fund. 

Del Duca says he hopes a network of charging stations will address the "range anxiety" some consumers have about the limits electric vehicles can travel compared with regular cars and trucks.

Some locations will have only a Level 2 charger, which can fully charge a vehicle in four to six hours, others will have Level 3 — or Direct Current Fast Chargers — that can charge a vehicle to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, and some will have both.

"We know that for electric vehicles to take off in Ontario there has to be the infrastructure in place," Premier Kathleen Wynne said in December.

"There is a real concern about climate change, but that concern can't be allowed to just be passive. There has to be a way for people to take action."

Ontario recently increased incentives for electric car buyers with rebates of up to $14,000, but the rebates are capped at $3,000 for vehicles priced between $75,000 and $150,000.

Those priced for more than $150,000 are not eligible for rebates.

There are an estimated 5,800 electric vehicles on Ontario roads.

With files from CBC News

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