Expansion of Toronto’s electric vehicle charging network depends on public participation – Toronto

There are about 1,800 public charging stations in the City of Toronto, not nearly enough to meet expected demand as drivers transition away from fossil fuels, and the city is seeking public input to make the transition to a more acceptable electric vehicle.

The city has set a goal of net zero emissions for 2040, but to achieve this lofty goal it wants 30% of vehicles registered in the city to be electric. Currently, only about two percent, or 23,000, of the city’s one million registered vehicles are plug-in or electric hybrids.

“We know it’s ambitious and there’s a lot of work to be done and that’s why charging is going to play a key role,” said James Nowlan, executive director of the city’s environment and climate division.

If there are enough chargers, Nowlan said, it will help residents feel comfortable transitioning to an electric vehicle, knowing they won’t have to worry about how they’ll find electricity .

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The concern is real for many vehicle owners considering their next purchase. Bryan Siu-Chong currently drives a gas hybrid and said the interest in an electric vehicle is there, but he needs to see the infrastructure first.

“I hear horror stories that if you don’t have a Tesla and you’re driving, you can’t find a place to charge your car,” he said.

Toronto staff are currently conducting a fact-finding mission tapping into the concerns and interests of vehicle owners to determine what the city’s future charging network will look like. Nowlan said the city wants to know everything about “where, when, how much and what type of electric vehicle charging we need in the city.”

He said this could include a mix of public and private sector pricing, with the sole aim of ensuring convenience is at the heart.

On Wednesday evening, a final in-person meeting will be held at the Fairfield Senior’s Center in Etobicoke, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., but anyone unable to attend will be able to fill out an online survey.

The study will conclude later this year with the results presented to the city council in early 2024.

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