Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan—Electric Vehicles

Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan (the OCCAP), formally released today (June 8, 2016), contains some very important commitments on Electric Vehicles (EVs), in addition to a wide-ranging list of actions designed to help Ontario cement its position as a global leader in the flight against climate change.

Transportation emissions accounted for 35% of Ontario's 2013 emissions, the highest sector.

EVs and other zero emission vehicles are important because, as the OCCAP notes, transportation emissions, at 35%, were the highest sectoral contributor to Ontario's 2013 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The OCCAP establishes a target of 5 per cent provincewide sales of EVs and hydrogen passenger vehicles by 2020.

Other EV-supportive actions in the OCCAP include: continuing and adding to financial incentives and procurement programs (including the creation of a program to provide four years of free overnight electricity for EVs), supporting EV supply equipment (EVSE) through funding additional EVSE installation and land use planning changes, significant investments in R&D, eduction and awareness funding with Plug 'n Drive and a commitment to plan for increased electricity use as EV uptake increases.

Key EV actions from the plan document (target years in parenthesis) *indicates action not featured in plan but included in table of actions:

Incentives & Procurement

Maintain incentives for electric vehicles: Ontario will extend the rebate program to 2020 for leasing or buying an eligible electric vehicle (up to $14,000 per vehicle), including rebates for purchase and installation of home charging stations (up to $1,000 per station). (2017)

Eliminate HST on zero emission vehicles: Ontario will work with the federal government to explore ways to provide full HST relief to purchasers of new battery electric vehicles, with the objective of introducing this relief by 2018. (2017/2018)

Free overnight electric vehicle charging: The province intends to establish a four-year free overnight electric vehicle-charging program for residential and multi-unit residential customers starting in 2017. (2017)

Replace older vehicles: The province will help get older and less fuel-efficient vehicles off the roads by offering a rebate to low- and moderate-income households that will help them replace old cars with new or used electric vehicles or a plug-in hybrid. (2017/2018)

Provide incentives for business: A new Green Commercial Vehicle Program will be set up to provide incentives to eligible businesses that want to buy low-carbon commercial vehicles and technologies to reduce emissions, including electric and natural gas-powered trucks, aerodynamic devices, anti-idling devices, and electric trailer refrigeration. (2017/2018)

Green-up government vehicles: Ontario will buy or lease green-plate-eligible passenger vehicles for the OPS fleet wherever possible. Government and corporate fleets present an important opportunity to showcase the viability and practicality of electric vehicles. (2017/2018)

Permanent Green Licence Plate Program: The Green Licence Plate Program will continue until 25 per cent of passenger vehicles have green plates. Green licence plates identify electric vehicle drivers’ commitment to a cleaner Ontario. The program also provides electric vehicles with free access to high- occupancy vehicle lanes, no matter how many people are in the vehicle. The program would be reviewed after 10 years. Green plate vehicles will have free access to the high-occupancy toll lanes that are currently being rolled out in Ontario. (Ongoing)*

Electric School Buses: Work with school bus companies and school boards on a pilot program in five communities that provides incentives to make it more affordable to switch school buses from diesel to electricity. This pilot is intended to determine if these buses can operate reliably and cost- effectively in Ontario. The results of the pilot will inform the development of future action plans. (2017)*

EVSE / Charging Infrastructure / Land use planning

Ensure availability of charging infrastructure is widely available: Ontario will increase access to the infrastructure required to charge electric vehicles by ensuring the following:

  • More charging stations: The province will invest in the rapid deployment of charging in workplaces, multi-unit residential buildings, downtowns and town centres. (Ongoing)

  • Electric-vehicle-ready homes: Ontario will require all new homes and townhomes with garages to be constructed with a 50-amp, 240-volt receptacle (plug) in the garage for the purpose of charging an electric vehicle. (January 2018)

  • Electric-vehicle-ready homes: Ontario will require all new homes and townhomes with garages to be constructed with a 50-amp, 240-volt receptacle (plug) in the garage for the purpose of charging an electric vehicle. (2018)

Require electric vehicle charging in surface lots: Municipalities would be able to require installation of electric vehicle charging stations in surface parking areas. (2017/2018)

Build a network of low-emission fuelling stations: The province will work with the Ontario Trucking Association, Union Gas, Enbridge and others to establish a network of natural gas and low- or zero carbon fuelling stations. (2017/2018)

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations In Government Locations: Electric charging stations will be installed for workforce and public charging at all government locations, including government offices, GO Transit stations, ServiceOntario offices, driver license offices, Ontario Parks and LCBOs. Charging station installation will begin in 2017 and is to be completed at the majority of locations in 2018. In addition to its own properties, Ontario will request all new government lease agreements and lease renewals include the provision of charging infrastructure, unless the property is not in a location appropriate to support or promote the use of electric vehicles. (2017)*

Establish EV Requirements For Existing Condominiums And Apartment Buildings: Establish requirements as soon as possible for existing condominiums and apartment buildings to make it easier to install charging stations for residents. (2017/2018)*


Electric and Hydrogen Advancement Program: Starting in 2017, vehicle manufacturers that offer their customers access to Ontario’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program will need to participate in an Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Advancement Program. (2017)

Create a Global Centre for Low Carbon Mobility: Based at a post-secondary institution in Ontario, a Global Centre for Low Carbon Mobility will be set up to advise the government on low-carbon transportation, and to direct funding for research, development and low-carbon manufacturing. (2017)

Awareness & Education

Increase public awareness: Ontario will work with Plug’n Drive, a non-profit electric vehicle advocacy organization, to establish and operate a facility to showcase electric vehicles and related technology to Ontarians across the province. (2017/2018)

EV Educational Campaigns: Continue to collaborate with local partners and jurisdictions such as California and Quebec on educational campaigns to promote awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles, with a focus on first-time car buyers and multi-car households. (2017/2018)*

Partner And Dealership Programs: Provide support to dealerships to increase engagements to increase sales through dealer training and awareness programs. (2017)*

Private Fleet Awareness Campaign: Initiate an awareness campaign for private fleet owners and managers to communicate their eligibility for electric vehicle incentives and promote the potential savings from greening their fleets. (2017/2018)*

Electricity Sector Impacts

Plan for increased electricity demand: Plan for any increased demand on the electricity grid as a result of greenhouse gas emissions reduction from measures such as the greater use of electric vehicles, and increased use of electricity for residential and commercial space and water heating. (2017/2018)*

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