Vehicles are the source of over one-third of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Switching passenger, freight and transit vehicles from gasoline and diesel to electric and other low-carbon fuels is a central part of the City’s plan to reduce GHG emissions to net zero by 2050, or sooner. The transition to electric and other low-carbon fuels will also significantly reduce local air pollutants that affect the health of Toronto residents.

To support the transition towards electric vehicles (EV), the City is working towards a number of objectives including:

  • co-develop, with key stakeholders, an Electric Vehicle Strategy for Toronto
  • understand and address the barriers for EV adoption
  • establish a robust network of EV charging infrastructure
  • improve access and affordability of electric transportation to advance social equity
  • improve public health
  • support local innovation and create economic opportunities
  • explore how electric vehicles could enhance community resilience

Toronto’s Electric Vehicle Strategy will serve as the roadmap to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the electrification of mobility.

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 low- or 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 toward to capture emissions reductions potential through the electrification of mobility.

Learn more: Preparing Toronto for Electric Vehicles Report (2017)

Electric Vehicle Strategy

Toronto’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy, a first for the City of Toronto, 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 achieve four key objectives:  increase charging availability, address cost and convenience barriers, increase public awareness and education, and create economic opportunities that will benefit the local economy.

The Strategy will be considered by the Infrastructure and Environment Committee on January 9, 2020 and by City Council at its meeting scheduled for January 29 and 30, 2020. The agenda item will be coming soon.

Assessment Phase

The City contracted Pollution Probe and The Delphi Group to lead the development of a comprehensive review of the current electric mobility landscape, existing policies, barriers and opportunities, best practice, convene key stakeholders and assess these findings to create a visual baseline. The assessment phase report will be used to inform the Strategy actions.

Learn more: Electric Mobility Strategy Assessment Phase Report

Strategy Framework

The Electric Mobility Strategy Framework serves as a guideline for the development of the forthcoming Electric Vehicle Strategy, which will describe specific actions that the City can take to enable electric mobility and maximize the co-benefits identified by TransformTO.

The Framework is the result of a collaboration between the Environment and Energy Division, the Electric Vehicle Work Group and feedback from an external stakeholder group.

Learn more: City of Toronto Electric Mobility Strategy Framework 

 

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.