Toronto proposes strategy to get way more electric vehicles on its roads

By: Zandile Chiwanza on January 10, 2020

Toronto’s first-ever electric vehicle strategy, prepared by Dunsky Energy Consulting, aims to ensure the city can handle at least 220,000 plug-in electric cars by 2030.

Also known as the “EV Strategy”, the plan identifies a range of actions to help the city achieve its longer-term goal of having all transportation powered by zero-carbon energy sources by 2050. 

According to the report, vehicles are responsible for about 30% of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions and in order to meet long-term reduction goals, the strategy says the city needs to upgrade its electricity supply capability to accommodate the switch to electric vehicles(EVs). 

Approximately 0.6% of vehicles currently registered in Toronto are electric and there are very few public EV charging stations across the city. The plan aims to boost the number of EVs progressively to 5% by 2025, to 20% by 2030 and to 80% by 2040.

“Getting all private vehicles electric by 2050 … is critical to city council delivering on a promise to fight climate change and make Toronto carbon neutral by mid-century,” the report said.

Sarah Buchanan, a program manager at Environmental Defence who participated in Dunsky’s consultations, told Toronto Star the proposed plan to electrification is “ambitious and solid.”

“My concern is implementation — how serious city council is about taking all those steps because some of them have a price tag upfront,” Buchanan said. 

Last month we reported that “Ontario is the only province not seeing year-over-year growth for EV sales” after the province’s 2018 cancellation of a $14,000 rebate on most models and is slowing down the rest of the country’s ability to meet a national target.

Despite the fact that Doug Ford has no plans to boost EV ownership, the City of Toronto is going ahead with plans to encourage Torontonians to adopt sustainable transportation.

The proposal is barely two-days old and residents have already expressed skepticism.

“We can't even build a small bike lane network, but they can roll out EV infrastructure around the city?” tweeted one critic. 

“I do not see that happening under the Ford government. He already had the chargers ripped out at GO stations,” tweeted another.