Ontario's plan to build hundreds of new public electric car chargers is facing some delays. The $20 million project that should have seen its first phase of 485 new charging stations go live by the end of this month is not likely to hit that target, according to the province's Ministry of Transportation.
MTO spokesperson Courtney Anderson told The Globe and Mail that a third of those charging stations aren't likely to be turned on before the end of the summer driving season. The delays are a result of "site conditions." Issues like "land ownership, municipal permitting, electrical grid limitations and other factors" are causing the delays, according to Anderson.
But even if only two-thirds of the chargers go live on schedule, having over 300 new public charging stations online is still a massive improvement. Prior to the start of the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) program, there were only five public fast chargers in the entire province. Having hundreds of the stations means that "Ontario is now a market ready for EVs" according to Matt Stevens, CEO of FleetCarma, a company working to accelerate EV adoption. Having more charging stations available helps to lower range anxiety fears for buyers, and the new network should blanket the province with available fast charging.
Sales of EVs in Ontario are rising to meet the opportunities presented by the new charging network and Ontario's rebate of up to $14,000 for buying an EV. While Quebec still has the most plug-in hybrids and EVs on the road, Ontario had the most year-over-year growth, with a 67 percent increase in sales for 2016, according to FleetCarma. The province saw 3,412 new EVs added to its roads last year.
The MTO expects to have an updated charging map with the newly opened stations listed available soon.