On Jan. 29, the Toronto City council went through its second phase of consideration of the first electric vehicle strategy proposed by the city.
Toronto is currently in the midst of a push to standardize electric vehicles. One of its biggest challenges is access to charging stations in the city, especially when permits for parking pads necessary for residential charging stations are becoming harder to acquire.
“It has a lot to do with accessibility,” says Alnoor Kara, a Tesla X owner in Toronto. “I know people who have to plan their trips around the city to make sure they don’t run out of charge.”
The strategy aims at achieving the city’s goal of zero emissions by 2050, and focuses predominantly on consumer vehicles, which the strategy cites as producing up to 30 per cent of the cities emissions. It outlines immediate action in the form of incentives to build more charging stations throughout Toronto.
“While support for public transit and active transportation will be critical to achieving this goal, increasing the adoption of electric vehicles (“EV”s), fuelled by Ontario’s current low-carbon electricity grid, must also be realized,” reads the summarized report proposed to the city council.
The report by the city council aims to support 20 per cent of Toronto’s passenger vehicles by 2030 (220,000 vehicles).
“It’s more than feasible,” says Nazar Navolskyy, owner of Favorit Morors, a car dealership that sells used Teslas. “Seven months ago zero per cent of our inventory were Teslas, now they make up 10 to 20 per cent.”
Navolskyy is a Tesla S owner himself, and agrees that one of the main benefits of owning an electric car is the ability to charge it at home, something that isn’t possible without residential parking.
“The benefits of having an electric vehicle is the capability to charge my car at my house. I can plug it in and in five to six hours it’s charged,” Navolskyy says.
He admits it would impact his situation if he didn’t have a charging station at home.
“I do see how it would be a constraint for someone without a charger … you would waste a lot of time at public charging stations,” Navolskyy says.
The proposal cites access to residential charging stations as one of the main challenges the city faces. This comes at the same time the city declared ownership of an electric vehicle should not sway decisions on whether or not a resident can install a parking pad on their property.
“I used to not think about it much when I lived close to a Tesla facility,” Kara says.
Since moving further away from public charging stations, he now values his capacity to charge his car at home.
“If i didn’t have a charger at home I would’t have got a Tesla … it definitely swayed the decision.”
In Toronto, permits for parking passes are strictly regulated, and can cost residents hundreds of dollars.