Toronto aiming to have all electric transportation by 2050

Jan 9 2020, 6:44 pm

A report presented to Toronto city council on Thursday afternoon proposes a strategy for evolving all of the city’s transportation to electric energy by 2050.

The Electric Vehicle Strategy (EV Strategy) — co-created under the leadership of the Environment and Energy Division, with the Electric Vehicle Working Group — identifies a range of actions organized to help the city achieve a 30-year projected goal of having all transportation powered by zero-carbon energy sources.

The plan is being shared with council only a few months after Toronto joined 800 governments to declare a climate emergency.

The development and implementation of this EV Strategy, the agenda item says, is critical to the process of transitioning Toronto to a low-carbon city as per the climate action plan TransformTO, and the goal for 100% zero-carbon energy transport by the goal date.

The strategy, outlining all recommendations, is available for viewing in full online.

It highlights that while support for public and active transportation will be integral to the reaching of the set goals, the increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EV), is also of great importance.

This means, the strategy states, that by 2030, the city should be prepared to accommodate more than 220,000 plug-in electric vehicles.

Further, by 2050, 100% of personal vehicles should be zero-carbon, which, at this point in time, can only be achieved through electric vehicles.

The report says that in order for this need to be accommodated, current barriers to necessary charging and electrical capacity infrastructure must be addressed.

“Electric vehicles have advanced significantly this past decade, owing in part to maturing technology, increased model availability (new and used EVs), decreasing battery costs, and significant greenhouse gas reduction, air quality and urban noise reduction benefits,” reads the agenda item.

“This EV Strategy recommends actions that need to be taken if electric vehicles are to significantly penetrate the passenger vehicle market.”

In response to last fall’s Climate Emergency Declaration, the Environment & Energy Division’s 2020 Operating Budget submission to council includes an allocated $150,000 to fund a public EV charging location study and outreach and engagement initiatives.

If council approves the new strategy, business cases that include the dedicated operating and capital resources required to implement the EV Strategy actions will be developed for consideration through the 2021 and future year budget process.

The city has been provided with the financial impacts associated with the report for review.

Kayla GladyszKayla Gladysz

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