The Ontario provincial government has pledged an investment of $91 million into the EV ChargeON program, which aims to build thousands of new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in smaller and medium-sized communities, as well as in Indigenous communities across Ontario.
The EV ChargeON program was announced by Prabmeet Sarkaria, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation on Friday, who said that applications are being accepted starting immediately. Eligible applicants include businesses, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, Indigenous businesses, as well as public sector entities such as hospitals and universities.
According to the government this program will target communities with fewer than 170,000 residents, ensuring that smaller towns and regions are well-equipped to accommodate electric vehicles. The program will also see the expansion of EV chargers on government-owned land, including highway rest areas, carpool parking lots, and popular tourist destinations like Ontario Parks.
“Expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a priority for our government and another way we are encouraging people to enjoy the great outdoors by improving the visitor experience at Ontario Parks. This will support the adoption of zero-emission electric vehicles and empower more people to do their part to create a greener future for the next generation,” said Andrea Khanjin Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
Ontario says that as of September 2023 the province had more than 135,000 registered electric vehicles, including battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). By 2030, the province is expected to have over one million EVs on its roads. Currently, there are over 2,900 public charging stations with 7,900 ports in Ontario, which include Level 2 and Level 3 DC fast-charging ports.
Despite the announcement to expand EV charging infrastructure, Ontario remains one of the few provinces in Canada that does not offer a rebate to purchase an EV.