It will be more convenient for electric vehicle owners to snack and drive in Ontario next year when more than 100 charging stations are installed at Tim Hortons and McDonald’s restaurants throughout the province. The two fast food purveyors are the most prominent on the newly announced list of 24 public and private sector partners chosen to accommodate 485 new electric vehicle charging stations, financed with $20 million from the Ontario government’s Green Investment Fund.
This follows last month’s release of the Climate Change Action Plan, which committed $80 million for “rapid deployment of charging in workplaces, multi-unit residential buildings, downtowns and town centres”.
Two types of charging stations will be rolled out in this round of installations, which is slated to be complete by April 2017. Level 2 charging stations, using a 240-volt system, can charge a vehicle completely in four to six hours, while Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) at Level 3 charging stations can charge a vehicle to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes. Both types of new infrastructure are meant to fill in and extend the existing network of charging stations, giving motorists more assurance that they will be able to recharge on their journeys.
With fewer than 7,000 electric vehicles now registered to owners in the province, the $20 million expenditure equates to about $2,900 per vehicle, but the Ontario government is projecting improved economies of scale in the future. “By investing in charging infrastructure that is fast, reliable and affordable, we are encouraging more Ontarians to purchase electric vehicles, reducing greenhouse gas pollution and keeping our air clean,” says Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca.
New charging stations are slated for large and mid-sized cities and smaller towns, with nearly two-thirds to be located in the south-central part of the province stretching from Durham to Niagara Regions and up to Simcoe. More than 200 charging stations are earmarked for Toronto and neighbouring Mississauga, while Hamilton has been allotted just three.
Across the province, the new charging stations will be found on public properties, including government office buildings, health care facilities and conservation areas. Selected commercial sites include retail plazas, hotels, office buildings, 65 Tim Hortons and 42 McDonald’s outlets.
“Supporting more charging stations across the province will help to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by making it more convenient for drivers of electric vehicles to get around,” says Glen Murray, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.