Toronto’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy, approved by City Council in January 2020, identifies actions that the City can pursue to support the transition to electric light-duty vehicles (cars, vans, trucks and SUVs, for personal and shared use). More information is in the “Electric Vehicle Strategy” tab below.

The City is supporting the transition to electric vehicles, including supporting EV charging in homes and workplaces ­and the development of a robust public EV charging network. This City is also demonstrating leadership by electrifying its own fleet and transit vehicles. Please see the tabs below for more information.

Why are electric vehicles important?

Approximately 35 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto comes from on-road transportation (cars, trucks, vans, and buses) with passenger cars and trucks responsible for more than a quarter (26 per cent) of Toronto’s GHG emissions. This means that switching from fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric vehicles is important for reducing GHG emissions in Toronto and meeting the City’s net zero GHG emissions target. One of the goals of TransformTO, Toronto’s climate action strategy, is to have 100 per cent of transportation use low-carbon energy sources by 2050.

Electric vehicles have other benefits, too. They cost less to operate and don’t have tailpipe emissions, helping to reduce air pollution. They are also quiet, helping to reduce noise pollution.

More information about EVs is available on the Plug’n Drive website. You can test-drive an EV and learn more about EVs at the Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre. Plug’n Drive is a non-profit organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles in order to maximize their environmental and economic benefits.

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 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 (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. Passenger cars and trucks accounted for about 26 per cent of GHG emissions in Toronto in 2019.

Read the EV Strategy Staff Report for more information.

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 baseline. The assessment phase report was used to inform the Strategy actions.

Learn more: Electric Mobility Strategy Assessment Phase Report

Consultation

The City engaged the public and stakeholders through multiple workshops and a public online survey to help co-create the Electric Vehicle Strategy.

Learn more: Electric Vehicle Strategy Consultation Summary

TransformTO is Toronto’s ambitious climate action strategy. Unanimously approved by City Council in July 2017, it includes a set of long-term, low-carbon goals and strategies to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and improve our health, grow our economy, and improve social equity.

On October 2, 2019, City Council voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency and accelerate efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, adopting a stronger emissions reduction target of net zero by 2050 or sooner.

Toronto’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy – which identifies a pathway to reach net zero emissions by 2040 – will be considered by City Council on December 15, 2021 (item 2021.IE26.16).

On-road transportation accounts for about 35 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto today. Achieving Toronto’s GHG emissions reduction targets will require us to move towards more sustainable modes of transportation.

One of the TransformTO goals is that

  • 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.

Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles Program (iZEV)

The Government of Canada provides incentives of up to $5,000 for consumers who buy or lease an eligible ZEV.

Learn more about incentives for purchasing zero-emission vehicles.

Used EV Incentive – $1,000

EV drivers in Ontario qualify for $1,000 toward the purchase of a used fully electric vehicle. This incentive is offered by Plug’n Drive, in collaboration with Clean Air Partnership. Learn more about the used EV incentive.

Scrappage Incentive – $1,000

EV drivers in Ontario who receive the Used EV Incentive can also receive the Scrappage Incentive by recycling their old gas car. Combined, that’s up to $2,000 toward the purchase of a used EV. Learn more about the scrappage incentive.

New Buildings – Toronto Green Standard

To help ensure that new buildings in Toronto are ready to meet EV charging needs in the future as people switch to electric vehicles, the Toronto Green Standard includes requirements for EV charging infrastructure in new Residential, Commercial, and City-owned parking facilities.

Existing Buildings

The City of Toronto offers low-interest loans to home and building owners to cover the cost of  a variety of improvements, including EV charging stations.

  • The Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) supports single family property improvements (e.g. installing energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and other defined measures).
  • The City’s Energy Retrofit Loan program provides low-interest loans to help building owners improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. EV charging infrastructure can be eligible for financing under this program when included in a retrofit project that results in energy cost savings.

The Electric Vehicle Strategy has two actions intended to support provision of EV charging in existing homes, businesses and workplaces. Both actions are identified as immediate actions in the EV Strategy and will be pursued over the coming 1-2 years.

  • Action 1: Leverage and explore funding opportunities to expand charging infrastructure

This action includes exploring the feasibility of providing incentives for charging infrastructure in home, public, workplace and fleet settings and expanding financing options for charging infrastructure installation on private property.

  • Action 2: Develop policies and regulations and explore partnerships to expand charging infrastructure

This action includes exploring regulatory opportunities or programs for charging at existing homes and workplaces. It also includes supporting the Toronto Green Standard for new developments, enabling public EV charging deployment through guidance and partnerships, and leading by example by developing a workplace EV charging program.

The Electric Vehicle Strategy has targets for provision of publicly-accessible EV charging infrastructure:

  • By 2025:
    • 3,000 Level 2 ports
    • 220 DCFC (fast charging) ports
  • By 2030:
    • 10,000 Level 2 ports
    • 650 DCFC ports

Pilot Projects

The City is currently undertaking two pilot projects on public EV charging, one providing EV charging at on-street parking spaces and one providing EV charging in Toronto Parking Authority parking garages.

On-street EV Charging Station Pilot

The City and Toronto Hydro are providing 17 on-street Level 2 EV charging stations at nine locations in Toronto, including six neighbourhood parking permit locations and two downtown sites.

News release: City of Toronto and Toronto Hydro launch new on-street electric vehicle charging station pilot

Parking Garage Charge Station Pilot Project

Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) will be undertaking a pilot project with Toronto Hydro to upgrade/install 32 charging stations in TPA garages in 2022.

Learn more: Report to Board of Directors, Toronto Parking Authority

Additional EV Initiatives

Toronto Parking Authority EV Charging Infrastructure Plan

Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) has commenced planning work for the large scale provision of public EV charging in Green P parking garages, surface parking lots, and at paid, on-street parking locations. The first phase of this work will see 429 EV charging stations installed in 25 Green P garages by 2024.

Information about TPA’s plans for EV charging is included in the Toronto Parking Authority 2022 Annual Operating Plan.

Parking Strategy

The City is proposing a framework to develop a city-wide Parking Strategy for Toronto. The Parking Strategy will be a collective effort between several City partners that have mandates requiring innovation related to Toronto’s parking infrastructure. Managing parking effectively is an essential element to succeed in executing major city building objectives, including achieving our climate change goals. Parking for electric vehicles will be a key consideration through the development of the Parking Strategy, including increasing access to on- and off-street charging opportunities, in both residential and commercial areas.

Public EV Charging Infrastructure Plan

The City will be developing a Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Plan to guide provision of public EV charging infrastructure in Toronto over the next 15 to 20 years. The Plan will have three interconnected parts:

  1. Assessment of where public EV charging will be needed over time;
  2. Identification of potential locations for public EV charging; and
  3. Exploration of how public EV charging infrastructure could be provided.

The Plan will be developed over 2022-2023 and will involve extensive public and stakeholder consultation. Opportunities to provide input to and feedback on the Plan will be announced on this website and City of Toronto social media.

The City is demonstrating leadership by electrifying City-owned fleet vehicles.

The Sustainable Fleets Plan aims to transition City-Fleets to sustainable, climate resilient, low-carbon operations. The Plan’s key objectives are:

  • Transition 20 per cent of City-owned fleet to zero emission vehicles by 2025, and 50 per cent by 2030;
  • Achieve a 65 per cent greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 (from 1990 levels); and
  • Net zero greenhouse gas emissions before 2040.

The City is undertaking a major expansion of its corporate EV charging infrastructure to enable and support accelerated transition of City fleets to electric vehicles, and help with broader promotion and adoption of EVs in Toronto and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton region.

The expanded charging station network is expected to have 350 charge ports available by the end of 2022, and 1,200 charge ports by 2025 at more than 100 City locations. The network will also enable the expansion of the City’s workplace charging program, with charging ports accessible to the public where feasible.

Since 2019, the City has been operating a pilot workplace EV charging program at City Hall and Metro Hall.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Green Bus Program was approved by the TTC Board in November 2017, with the target of procuring only zero-emission buses starting in 2025 and achieving an entirely zero emissions bus fleet by 2040.

Since the Board’s approval of the Green Bus Program, the TTC has procured 310 of the latest clean diesel buses, 255 of latest generation hybrid electric buses (HEV), the City of Toronto’s first 60 battery-electric eBuses, and retrofitted three of TTC’s eight garages with the required eBus charging systems infrastructure.  The TTC has gained valuable experience from its last procurement of 255 HEVs and 60 eBuses. The TTC will be applying lessons learned to develop technical and commercial specifications for the next 600 new accessible buses, including 300 HEVs and 300 eBuses, to be delivered in 2022 through early 2025.

Electric Buses

In June 2019, the TTC’s first of 60 eBuses entered service. In April 2021, the TTC Board approved the procurement of approximately 300 ebuses between 2023 and 2025, based on available funding.

Since 2017, the TTC has been working in partnership with Toronto Hydro on the installation of required electrification infrastructure for the existing fleet of 60 eBuses. As the TTC continues on its path to full electrification of the bus, Wheel-Trans and non-revenue vehicle fleets, this infrastructure must be expanded accordingly. The TTC is working with Ontario Power Generation and Toronto Hydro to ensure on-time upgrade of the local grid distribution system and implementation of required infrastructure at TTC sites.

Hybrid Diesel-Electric Buses (HEV)

Between 2018 and 2019, a total of 255 of the latest generation hybrid diesel-electric buses were procured by TTC. Hybrid diesel-electric buses are equipped with both a clean diesel engine and an electric generator/motor. The on-board batteries, which drive the electric traction motor, are charged by the generator driven by the diesel engine and supplemented by the recovery of braking energy through regenerative braking. The clean diesel engine used on the hybrid buses is smaller in size compared to the engines used in the clean and conventional diesel buses. In addition, these buses have all-electric accessories such as electric power steering, air compressor, power steering, etc. All these features result in reduced fuel consumption and in turn, reduced tailpipe emissions.

Learn more: TTC Green Bus Program Update and TTC’s Green Bus Program: Preliminary Results of TTC’s Head-to-Head eBus Evaluation