A recent report from KPMG in Canada
found that nearly 70 per cent of people surveyed who plan to buy a vehicle in the next five years will opt to purchase some form of electric vehicle (EV). The survey of 2,000 Canadians conducted in January 2021, found that 59 per cent of those planning to purchase an EV would also buy their own charger, while a quarter hoped their condo building would install stations. Additionally, more than 80 per cent said automakers should be investing in a charging infrastructure, and 89 per cent want to see chargers at gas station, malls and grocery stores.
We asked Coun. James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), who co-chairs Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Julia Langer, CEO of The Atmospheric Fund, and Keith Stewart, an energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, to tell us who should be investing in an EV charging infrastructure. Here are their responses in roughly the time same time it takes to order and pick up from a drive-thru window.
“Charging infrastructure has high upfront costs, and, with only 0.6 per cent of Toronto’s vehicles registered as EVs, low utilization rates. But the City of Toronto has tools to support the expansion of charging stations. Our planning department could make them a requirement in any new residential or commercial build, or in the repurposing of gas stations. Toronto Parking Authority and TTC have the real estate to install stations. The city can also waive fees, create tax incentives and make it easier to install them on private property. Government must make it easier for the private sector to ensure these vehicles can be powered by clean energy.” - James Pasternak
“Getting beyond a handful of gas stations to create a convenient charging network will require both public and private investment. Plugging in has to be accessible and affordable to accelerate EV adoption. That’s why government also has a role to play to enable market growth. Incentives will help address market barriers, drive down costs, and position this sector for commercial, utility and consumer rollout. Fueling our vehicles with clean electricity has a necessary end game: phasing out fossil fuels to reach our climate targets.” – Julia Langer
“Electrifying transportation is a key part of the solution to the climate crisis, so our governments must ensure that the basic infrastructure is there for people to take an electric bus or drive an electric car. Governments should provide charging stations directly in public places and set rules requiring charging facilities in private places like condos and shopping mall parking lots. The federal Clean Fuel Standard already provides an incentive for gas stations to add electric chargers, but we need to make sure you can soon take an electric vehicle anywhere a gas-powered one can go now.” – Keith Stewart