Electric vehicles: Drivers demand more EV charging options as province announces new rules for building stations


The Doug Ford government has announced it will be streamlining the process for connecting electric vehicle charging infrastructure to the province’s electricity grid.

Ontario’s Ministry of Energy announced on Friday morning that all 58 utility companies in the province will need to follow the same procedures when implementing new public EV charging stations, with a deadline of May 27.

“This is just another step we are taking to reduce red tape, increase EV adoption, and use our clean electricity supply to support the electrification of Ontario’s transportation sector,” said Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith.

In the Ottawa region, the move to expand the public charging grid comes as a relief to EV advocates.

“We haven’t had any additions of charging from Tesla for a number of years now,” said Ottawa Electric Vehicle Council president Raymond Leury.

“For [charging providers] to be able to do it faster and in a standardized way – it’s just going to make things better for everybody.”

The province is also moving to standardize the timeline when implementing charging stations. Leury says it could cut down on situations where stations are built, but not serviced.

“They’ve been installed for over two years and they’re still not powered up. This should solve some of the problems we’re seeing now where things are taking forever.”

Last month, five out of eight “Supercharger” stations for Tesla vehicles in the east-end were out of service, creating backlogs for many drivers. The station is only one of two that offers faster charging for Tesla drivers in Ottawa.

Drivers and advocates alike have been asking the province to urgently install more charging stations in the region, as the federal government says it will be mandating all new vehicles sold in Canada to be electric by 2035.

A lack of fast-charging stations has led to complicated commutes for some EV drivers like Josh Geymonat.

“I’m from the east-end and I have to constantly drive west to charge, so [more chargers] would make life a lot easier for sure,” he said.

“The number one challenge when you have an E vehicle is finding locations to charge it,” said driver Cory Cosgrove. “I think the fast charge stations are fairly lacking in the area.”

Tesla owner Keith Mitchener has confidence in the current grid – having completed a cross-country trip in his EV – though he too is calling for more chargers.

“It was no problem charging, but as more and more EVs come on the market – which they’re going to – it would help drastically,” he said.

The province estimates there will be more than one million electric vehicles on Ontario’s roads by 2030.


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