An electric vehicle vision for Ontario
Electric vehicles (EVs) are part of our future. They offer some exciting opportunities for the economy and benefits for the environment. A variety of electric vehicles will enter the Ontario market over the next few years, giving consumers more “green” vehicle choices than ever before and putting Ontario on the cusp of a new technological frontier.
To blaze the path to this new era the Ontario government is calling for all Ontarians to support an ambitious electric vehicle vision of increasing the number of EVs on the province’s roads over the coming decade.
This challenge will place Ontario at the forefront of North American jurisdictions in supporting the adoption of electric vehicles and demonstrate Ontario's continued commitment to lead innovation in the automotive sector, fight climate change and improve our quality of life.
Taking the next step towards greener vehicles in Ontario
Ontarians have already shown that they know the value of “green” vehicles by purchasing fuel-efficient cars and vans. Over the past number of years, Ontarians have taken advantage of the Ontario Retail Sales Tax Rebate for Vehicles Powered by Alternative Fuel when they have purchased hybrid vehicles. Now hybrid vehicles are an accepted part of the automotive market in North America, and nearly all vehicle manufacturers are committed to producing them. It is time to take the next step and shift government support towards encouraging the market entry of plug-in hybrid electric and full battery electric vehicles.
It is important that Ontario remain at the forefront of adopting “green” vehicle technologies. Passenger vehicles are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Passenger vehicle technology is continually improving and there are significant opportunities to help combat climate change by encouraging the adoption of the latest “green” vehicle innovations.
With support from the government, individual citizens and the private sector, it will be possible to accelerate the growth of the electric vehicle market and realize the benefits of this new technology.
This report outlines the steps the Ontario government is taking to accelerate consumer adoption of grid-connected highway-capable Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). PHEVs and BEVs are referred to as grid-connected vehicles because they can be recharged by connecting to the electricity grid. These are the “next generation” of electric vehicles.
Government support for EVs in OntarioPurchasing an EV will have significant benefits for consumers, not least of all in reduced fuel costs. However, the government recognizes that there is still a significant up-front premium when buying an electric vehicle, mostly due to the cost of the battery. That is why the Ontario government has introduced a purchase incentive to help reduce the higher cost of EVs. The incentive is available for grid-connected EVs purchased or leased after July 1, 2010 and provides between $5,000 and $8,500 based on the vehicle's battery capacity. This is among the most generous programs in North America.
The government has worked with key stakeholders to ensure that the structure of the program supports innovation in EV design.
Buying EVs: Integrating electric vehicles into the Ontario Public Service (OPS) passenger vehicle fleet
Large fleet operators can support the introduction of electric vehicles by including EVs in new fleet acquisitions.
Fleet procurements provide an initial market for EVs and allow the public to see these vehicles in operation and understand that EVs can provide the same level of performance and reliability as conventional vehicles.
The Ontario government will lead the way in building consumer demand for EVs by purchasing electric vehicles for the Ontario Public Service fleet. By 2020, 20% of eligible new Ontario Public Service passenger vehicle purchases will be electric vehicles (subject to vehicle availability).
The government encourages municipalities, the broader public sector and private sector fleets to follow suit and develop electric vehicle procurement protocols for their fleets.
Driving EVs: Uniquely branded green vehicle licence plates and HOV lane access for EVs
To reward early adopters, the Ontario government has introduced a uniquely branded green vehicle licence plate available for PHEVs and BEVs in Ontario. The green vehicle plate not only provides recognition to Ontarians who choose to buy an electric vehicle, it also allows electric vehicle owners to use Ontario's High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes even when there is just one person in the car.
It is important not to overload the capacity of the HOV lanes or reduce their primary function in managing congestion. Therefore, HOV lane access is available for a limited five-year window as of July 2010, to coincide with the launch of the vehicle purchase incentive program.
Charging EVs: Home and public charging infrastructureOntario has the electrical generation capacity required to meet the anticipated demand from EVs in the short to medium term. Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan will help ensure that the province is able to meet its electricity needs until 2030 while eliminating coal-fired generation and doubling Ontario’s investment in renewables.
It is anticipated that most of the EV recharging will happen at home overnight during “off peak” times when demand for electricity is lower and it is cheaper and cleaner to produce. There may also be a need to develop a network of publicly-available charging points where consumers can recharge during the day.
In Ontario the new EV recharging infrastructure will likely involve a combination of private sector companies and Ontario's electricity utilities. The government will take the lead in this area by ensuring that EV recharging capacity is integrated in designated parking facilities owned by the Ontario government and GO Transit.
The government encourages private sector companies and municipal parking authorities to also explore opportunities to integrate recharging capacity in their parking facilities.
To assist in the roll-out of recharging technology, the Ministry of Energy will work with stakeholders to ensure grid support for EV recharging that will work within Ontario's regulated electricity market.
The Ministry of Energy will also look at opportunities to support projects that integrate EV recharging technologies into Ontario's smart electricity grid.
Ontario's Building Code and Electrical Safety Code already provide for the safe integration of EV recharging capacity in homes and other buildings on a voluntary basis. As a result, it is possible for utilities or private sector companies to begin the roll-out of recharging networks to support EVs on Ontario's roads.
Ontario's Building Code and Electrical Safety Code already provide for the safe integration of EV recharging capacity in homes and other buildings on a voluntary basis.
A Greener Ontario
Aggressive new standards for fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions in North America, Europe and Japan are pushing car makers to look for alternatives. Volatile oil prices, and the insecurity of oil supply from regions of political and social unrest, also create interest in developing alternatives to the conventional gasoline engine. The major automobile manufacturing companies have made significant new investments in electric vehicles, and over 30 start-up EV companies have emerged in the past few years. More than a dozen companies in Asia, Europe, and North America have also invested heavily in battery development. Overall, there has been rapid improvement in all aspects of electric vehicle technology.
With participation from government, consumers and the auto sector to expand the use of electric vehicles, Ontario will be at the forefront of efforts to “green” the transportation sector in North America. Electric vehicles combined with low greenhouse gas electricity would provide individual Ontarians with an opportunity to contribute to a greener future.