Ontario Premier's Mandate Letters—Electric and other Zero Emission Vehicles

On September 23, 2016, Ontario's Premier Kathleen Wynne released mandate letters setting out key priorities for provincial cabinet ministers for the second half of the government's term in office.

Below, we include excerpts relating directly to zero emission vehicles (ZEV), including hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in/electric vehicles (EV) from mandate letters to the Ministers of Transportation and Energy.

The letter to the Minister of Transportation references increasing EV uptake through annually reviewing Ontario's Electric Vehicle Incentive Charging Program for 2017; additional funding rounds for public EV supply equipment (chargers) through the EV Chargers Ontario Program targeted at making Ontario the easiest jurisdiction in North America in which to charge an EV; supporting deployment of natural gas and hydrogen fueling stations for commercial vehicles; and launching an electric school bus pilot in at least five communities. The letter to the Minister of Energy confirms a commitment to a four-year free overnight electric vehicle-charging program for residential customers starting in 2017.

Readers of this post may find our prior posts regarding EV-supportive building code options to increase electric vehicle supply equipment and BC's Climate Leadership Plan of interest. In addition, this post by David Roberts of Vox contains a useful comparison of popular current and planned EV models by range and price.

Transportation: Letter to the Honourable Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation

At a high level, the Minister of Transportation's mandate is set as overseeing "a world-class provincial transit and transportation system that moves people and goods safely, efficiently and sustainably to support a globally competitive economy and a high quality of life."

The letter contains the following directions (direct excerpt):

Supporting Implementation of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan As part of helping to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions in the transportation sector, supporting implementation of relevant actions in the Climate Change Action Plan including:

  • Increasing the uptake of electric vehicles by annually reviewing the Electric Vehicle Incentive Program for 2017 and delivering additional rounds of the EV Chargers Ontario program to help make Ontario the easiest jurisdiction in North America to charge an electric car.

  • Supporting the Minister of Energy and the Minister of Economic Development and Growth in the deployment of natural gas and hydrogen and fueling stations for commercial vehicles.

  • Working with the Minister of Education and the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, launch an electric school bus pilot in at least five communities, including urban, suburban, northern and rural, to reduce costs, reduce toxic emissions, and fight climate change.

The Letter notes the following already-achieved results:

  • Announced the $20 million investment from Ontario’s Green Investment Fund to build nearly 500 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at over 250 locations in Ontario by March 2017.

  • Modernized the Electric Vehicle Incentive Program to make EVs more affordable and to provide additional incentives for vehicles with larger batteries and greater capacity to carpool.

Energy: Letter to the Honourable Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy

The Minister of Energy's high-level mandate is set as promoting "the development of a safe, reliable, secure and environmentally sustainable energy supply."

The letter contains the following direction (direct excerpt):

Supporting the Growth of the Low-Carbon Economy and Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Pollution

Working with the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, other colleague ministers, local distribution companies and others, implement key components of the Climate Change Action Plan relating to the Energy portfolio, including: ...

  • Establishing a four-year free overnight electric vehicle-charging program for residential customers starting in 2017.

Readers interested in electric vehicles and zero emission vehicle policy should feel free to contact Travis Allan with questions or comments.

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