City Council adds more on-street EV chargers

Toronto will double the number of on-street chargers after residents complained the five-year-old pilot project had produced only nine on-street parking spots with $2-per-hour chargers.

Toronto is getting a boost in electric vehicle chargers for on-street parking spots after city officials admitted they have let a five-year-old pilot project languish.

City council on Thursday voted to order Toronto Hydro, a partner with the city in the project launched in 2017, to add at least 17 more on-street chargers this year.

The move, proposed by Mayor John Tory, came after councillors grilled senior city officials on the ongoing pilot project intended to encourage EV adoption and help reduce tailpipe emissions contributing to global warming.

Coun. Paula Fletcher said Toronto-Danforth residents with no driveways or garages are clamouring for public charging spots so they can switch from gas-powered vehicles to EVs.

City staff told her the pilot project she helped create has produced 17 chargers across Toronto — nine at on-street parking spots and the remainder at other sites, including Green P lots.

“I don’t know enough about the program to say if that’s sufficient or not,” deputy city manager Tracey Cook told Fletcher, who later said she is “embarrassed” at Toronto’s progress behind other Canadian cities in encouraging EV use.

Cook added: “That’s certainly not where we want to stay and we are committed to improving that number” of on-street EV charging spots.

Cook’s boss, city manager Chris Murray went further, saying nine is “nowhere near the number” of spots the pilot project should have produced, adding he’ll work with Toronto Hydro chief executive Anthony Haines on an effort “much more focused and with better results.”

Read the full article at The Star.

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