Changes to Ontario’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Program (EVIIP) have spanned the political spectrum from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the newly elected New Democratic Party government. And now, without waiting for federal approval, the province has begun phasing out its rebate for new vehicles.
The Ontario government scrapped a program last month that offered rebates to people who purchased electric vehicles that are within three years of being eligible for the program. Rather than providing tax relief to electric vehicle owners, the rebate program was used as a springboard to increase demand for electric vehicles in Canada’s largest province, according to a report by the Waterloo Region Record.
Under the old program, electric vehicle owners received up to $6,000 for their purchases.
While the auto industry may not be pleased with the decision, it may not be too costly. The government has already issued $200 million in tenders for EV charging infrastructure, and it’s not a bad investment. Estimates suggest that New Leaf and Chevy Bolt vehicles cost Ontario $4,121 and $5,513, respectively, to purchase.
In Ontario, EV drivers have faced some additional challenges, and certainly more than their counterparts in other parts of the country. For one, charging stations can be scarce. Currently, Ontario lacks a single charging station for every 1,000 residents. This number has declined from 1.46 per 1,000 in 2016, but much of the gap can be attributed to older cars not capable of being easily charged.
Concerns over the number of charging stations also brought about by the new program have led to a number of possible solutions. A report by Market Intelligence Resource Canada (MIRC) with research and consultation provided by multiple partners was released in December 2018, and it revealed a number of solutions to the problem. One option considered was to install dedicated station locations for fuel stations, such as petroleum-powered stations, that could charge vehicles directly from the pumps.
Rather than having charging stations erected on a street at random, the report suggested designating certain street corners as public charging areas to use while on a road. This would take the hassle out of finding a place to charge and also provide a larger point of distribution in an urban area.
Story by Douglas Harvey Fox News Contributor
Surveying over 1,400 drivers in order to develop the new report, MIRC also found that drivers “want the same thing: a public charging network that is convenient, free, accessible and lasts for the duration of their vehicle’s service life.”
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