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Federal call for new EV charging will help Canadians go electric, but more action needed from industry and all levels of government

TORONTO — Meena Bibra, senior policy advisor at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s request for proposals to deploy more chargers in Canada:

“Today’s new request proposals for new EV charging projects as part of the federal government’s Zero-emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program will help expand Canada’s EV charging network as more Canadians opt to go electric.

“While over 80% of EV charging occurs at home, public charging is essential for longer road trips and for Canadians who are currently unable to access home charging, such as those living in apartments or condos. With EVs making up 12% of new cars sold last year, Canada is already home to a sizeable network of over public 27,000 charging ports from coast to coast to coast. 

“But as a new study released alongside the announcement makes clear, more charging options will be needed as EVs grow in popularity. This is going to require a multi-pronged approach that includes not just the federal government, but provinces, municipalities and, increasingly, industry players like charging network operators, car makers, and gasoline retailers.

“A number of policies are already in place to encourage the build out of EV charging and the grid infrastructure that will support it. The EV availability standard (that requires automakers to make an increasing proportion of EVs available for sale) provides certainty around EV demand for utilities planning future grid infrastructure as well as offering credits to automakers for building charging. And clean fuel regulations in place both federally and in B.C. provide credits that can be reinvested into charging infrastructure when switching from gasoline or diesel to electricity. 

“Canada now needs a comprehensive national charging plan that lays out the country’s charging needs and calls upon the various actors responsible for meeting them. While the study’s release of a charging corridor map across Canada is a step in the right direction, Canada needs an action plan to improve reliability, increase charging network coverage, and update EV-readiness policies to support Canadians living in condo and apartment buildings.

“Driving an electric vehicle saves thousands of dollars per year in fuel costs. Expanding the charging network is essential to ensuring all Canadians can access these benefits.”


  • There are already more than 27,000 public charging ports across the country. 
  • report from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada found the federal government is on track to meet its target of having 33,500 chargers installed by 2026.
  • The cost of building out the necessary grid infrastructure is estimated to be $94 billion between 2024 and 2040. For comparison, Canadians spent $70 billion on gasoline in 2022. This cost is also variable. For instance, condos and apartments with less access to and less reliable charging, could result in a need for more public charging infrastructure across Canada.
  • The network has grown substantially since the beginning of the ZEVIP program in 2018. Canada’s public charging network installations increased by 33% compared to last year. 
  • A recent report from Clean Energy Canada comparing popular EV models with their gas equivalents finds that going electric can save a typical Canadian driver $3,800 annually.
    • For instance, choosing a Chevrolet Bolt instead of a Toyota Corolla Hatchback would save $33,600 over a 10-year ownership period (that’s including the upfront purchase cost and current rebates). Province-specific savings can be downloaded here.
  • Transportation makes up 24% of emissions in Canada, and passenger vehicles make up around half of that.
  • More than 15,300 premature deaths each year in Canada are linked to air pollution. Canada’s federal EV regulations will result in over $90 billion in health benefits for Canadians over the next 25 years, including up to 11,000 avoided premature deaths, according to analysis by the Atmospheric Fund.


Report | A Clean Bill

Media Brief | Countering common myths about electric vehicles

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