Toronto’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy, approved by City Council on January 29, 2020, identifies actions that need to be taken so the City of Toronto is prepared for the global shift towards electric mobility and to ensure Toronto achieves a key TransformTO goal: 100% of transportation uses zero-carbon energy sources by 2050. Read the EV Strategy Staff Report for more information.

Vehicles are the source of over one-third of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

This EV Strategy focuses on personal passenger vehicle electrification which includes both plug-in hybrid electric and full battery electric vehicles and which represent around 30 per cent of GHG emissions in Toronto.

The City is currently implementing a suite of actions to convert the City’s fleet and transit buses to use low-carbon technology, undertaking a goods and freight movement study, and an automated vehicles tactical plan, among other electric mobility initiatives, all of which complement and align with the recommendations in the EV Strategy.

A key initiative will be the implementation of Downtown On-Street Charging Pilot and the Residential On-street Charging Station Pilots in 2020. Refer to the Summary section in this Staff Report for more information.

The zero-carbon transition will be guided by a number of principles that advance social equity, protect low income residents, improve affordability, especially for vulnerable populations, contribute to poverty reduction, enhance and strengthen the local economy, maintain and create good local jobs, improve public health and create resilient communities and infrastructure.

Toronto’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, based on 1990 levels:

  • 30 per cent by 2020
  • 65 per cent by 2030
  • Net zero by 2050, or sooner

Achieving these targets will require us to move towards more sustainable modes of transportation.

  • By 2050, 100 per cent of vehicles in Toronto will use zero-carbon energy; 75 per cent of trips under 5 km will be walked or cycled.

The Electric Vehicle Strategy will serve as the roadmap to capture emissions reductions potential through the electrification of mobility.

Electric Vehicle Strategy

Toronto’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy was approved by City Council on January 29, 2020.

The Strategy identifies a range of actions to increase EV adoption in Toronto and support the achievement of a key goal in the City’s TransformTO climate action strategy: 100 per cent of vehicles will be powered by zero carbon energy sources by 2050.

With a focus on the electrification of passenger vehicles (i.e. cars, vans, trucks and SUVs) the Strategy identifies 10 actions the City can take to: increase charging availability, address cost and convenience barriers, increase public awareness and education, and create economic opportunities that will benefit the local economy.

Learn more: City of Toronto Electric Vehicle Strategy

Read the EV Strategy Staff Report for more information.

The City is engaging the public and stakeholders through multiple workshops and initiatives to help co-create the Electric Vehicle Strategy.

June 27, 2019: Public Consultation

The purpose of this public engagement workshop was to provide the public an overview of preliminary work on the Strategy and give the public an opportunity to contribute to the Strategy’s final design and identify gaps or potentially inequitable social or health outcomes. This consultation workshop and the survey results helped to prioritize the EV Strategy’s actions.

June 24 to July 5, 2019: Online Survey

The public survey received approximately 750 responses by individuals who either live or work in Toronto. The survey asked respondents to prioritize the actions in each area of opportunity, while also flagging actions for which they perceived equity concerns. For each area of opportunity, survey respondents identified the following actions as having the highest priority:

  • Incentives for residential housing: Explore providing financial incentives (rebates, tax incentives) to support the installation of EV charging infrastructure in homes, apartments and condominiums;
  • Advocate for rebates: Advocate for provincial / federal policies that encourage a transition to EVs (including rebates for new and used EVs);
  • Corporate fleet: Convert the City’s corporate vehicle fleet to EVs; and
  • Related industries: Prioritize investments and technical assistance to attract EV-related industries / businesses.

Across the areas of opportunity, respondents noted that improving charging availability would have the greatest impact.

May 31, 2019 and June 27, 2019: Stakeholder Engagement Workshops

During the stakeholder workshops, the primary objective was to solicit feedback on prioritizing actions, while also identifying areas of opportunity, roadblocks, or key considerations for implementation. Important feedback from the workshops included:

  • The City should lead by implementing its own actions while also advocating and/or supporting other levels of government to implement actions;
  • Equity remains a significant concern for the EV Strategy, however, opportunities exist to provide benefits for all (e.g. cleaner air). In general, the City should prioritize transitioning away from a reliance on personal vehicles, while electrifying those that remain when all other modes of transportation have been exhausted;
  • Educating stakeholders and the public remains key;
  • The EV Strategy will require both short- and long-term initiatives.
  • Key performance indicators would be helpful at both the action and EV Strategy levels.

November 2018: Stakeholder Engagement Workshop

The purpose was to engage key stakeholders including the City’s Electric Vehicle Working Group (EVWG), industry, academic experts, electric vehicle owners, non-profit organizations and the community in initial conversations about collective electric vehicle goals and objectives and identify potential collaborations.

May 2018: Stakeholder Engagement Workshop

This was the first of multiple engagement sessions to include external stakeholders to support the development of a Toronto-wide Electric Vehicle Strategy. Participants discussed and provided feedback on the draft Electric Mobility Strategy Framework.

Learn more: External Stakeholder Engagement Report (May 23, 2018)

EV Charging Infrastructure Pilot Project

Council unanimously approved a one-year pilot project for 13 residential on-street EV charging stations in Trinity-Spadina (Ward 19), Toronto-Danforth (Ward 30), and Beaches-East York (Ward 32). Note: locations were based on the former 44-Ward Model.

If successful, the pilot will pave the way for a larger-scale roll-out of EV charging infrastructure in Toronto.

Read the Staff Report for more information.

Federal Zero-emission Vehicles (ZEV) Incentive

Effective May 1, 2019, the Federal Government of Canada will provide a purchase incentive for consumers who buy or lease an eligible ZEV.

Learn more at Transport Canada’s zero-emission vehicles page.