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Toronto and Montreal miles ahead on EVs

The B.C. government’s announcement of rebates on electric vehicles and their charging stations follows similar programs in Ontario and Quebec….

By Andrew Friesen , in Environment Transportation , on November 17, 2011 Tags: , ,

The B.C. government’s announcement of rebates on electric vehicles and their charging stations follows similar programs in Ontario and Quebec. While Vancouver’s mild year-round climate makes it a prime location for electric vehicles, the city has a less developed network of charging stations than Toronto and Montreal.

EV parking spot in downtown Toronto, Flickr (Neal Jennings)

Sean Allan, an engineer for BC Hydro subsidiary Powertech, said prior to the province’s announcement that he believed that BC might be playing catch up with other provinces.

Related: First electric cars generate charging buzz

“The cars are definitely coming, but is the world ready for them yet?” asked Allan, “I think that British Columbia is possibly less ready than some other provinces.”

Montreal’s ‘Electric Circuit’

Hydro Quebec has been actively lobbying businesses to install charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles, including RONA hardware stores and the Metro grocery chain.

Throughout 2012, over 100 stations will be rolled out in store lots across Montreal and Quebec City. This “Electric Circuit” is being described as the country’s first charging network for EVs.

The program is also unique in that Hydro Quebec has implemented a $2 flat rate for each charge.

Most other public charging stations have either given away the electricity for free (like Edible Canada) or included it with their parking fee (like EasyPark lots).

Toronto links transit and charging stations

The province of Ontario made headlines late this summer when it announced a $430 million partnership with Magna International to develop and research electric vehicle technology.

The province will kick in $48 million to various research projects, helping to create an estimated 728 jobs in an industry hit hard by the recent economic turmoil.

The Greater Toronto Area has also taken steps to link electric car infrastructure with the existing GO Transit system. Between now and 2014, 10 communities with GO Train stations will have charging infrastructure installed in the existing train station parkades.