In an uncharacteristic move, the government has decided it’s time to invest money in a more eco-friendly method of energy production. Wait, what? We’re used to governments preaching about what they’ll do to combat climate change, and then after realizing it’s going to cost them money, rapidly back-peddling. This whole actually taking action thing is a bit of a shock. We’re not complaining though; we all watched An Inconvenient Truth in 2006.
Something that always comes up when we talk climate change is carbon emissions and how we could easily reduce them by simply using electric-powered cars. Seems do-able, but there are currently fewer than 7,000 privately owned electric cars in Ontario. Research has shown that one of the main reasons Canadians don’t buy electric is because of ‘range anxiety’–the fear that they’ll run out of power before they can charge up again. That’s valid. There may be four gas stations at one intersection and three Tim Horton’s in your line of vision, but no charging station at all between you and your destination. The best way to eliminate that anxiety? Infrastructure that can actually support electric car use.
That’s exactly what the Ontario government has decided to invest in. They will be spending $20 million on installing 500 electric car charging stations by March 2017. Now that’s a real commitment. You go, Ontario! The stations will be concentrated between Windsor and Ottawa, with most in the Toronto/Hamilton area.
The upfront costs for building the stations will come from taxes but the upkeep will be funded by private businesses. The government’s partnering with companies–like Tim Horton’s, McDonald’s and Ikea–to set up stations on their properties. So you can recharge your car and your caffeine buzz (and furniture collection?) at the same time.
No costs for a charge have been announced yet, but CTV has speculated they could be as high as $10 or as low as free (if that’s not incentive to go electric, we don’t know what is). So if you’re planning on buying a car next year, you might want to consider going electric. If the electric car catches on after the addition of charging stations, it will likely only be a matter of time before the government rolls out more charging stations outside of Southern Ontario. The government has made a real commitment to an eco-friendly change, what a time to be alive!