Ottawa will be home to 19 new electric vehicle charging stations at 10 locations as part of the Ontario government's effort to encourage more residents to use electric vehicles.
In an announcement on Wednesday, the government said the network of public stations will help address "range anxiety" among electric car drivers who may be concerned about the distance their vehicles can travel compared to traditional vehicles.
The full network of stations will allow electric vehicles to travel safely across the province.
Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi called the announcement great news for drivers.
"With more public charging stations available, electric vehicle owners can now plan longer trips with more confidence that a charging station is as readily available as agas station is," he said in a statement.
The stations – which will be placed at more than 250 locations including highways, workplaces and public spaces – are all expected to be in service by the end of March next year.
The government says the $20-million investment in the charging stations comes from Ontario's $325-million Green Investment Fund, which supports projects that fight climate change.
The province provides up to $14,000 in incentives for electric vehicle buyers as it aims for electric cars to make up five per cent of new vehicle sales by 2020. It says there are nearly 7,000 electric vehicles currently on the roads in Ontario.
"By investing in charging infrastructure that is fast, reliable and affordable, we will encourage more Ontarians to purchase electric vehicles, reducing greenhouse gas pollution and keeping our air clean," said Steven Del Duca, Ontario's minister of transportation.
Ontario's announcement on Wednesday comes after Quebec announced last month that it will greatly increase the number of fast-charge stations for electric vehicles along one of the province's busiest highways.
Electric cars are still a niche market, with less than one per cent of global auto sales. More than 21,000 plug-in electric vehicles have been sold in Canada since 2011.
The plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt leads, followed by the all-electric Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf. Together they account for almost 70 per cent of sales.
Widespread adoption of electric vehicles has been hampered by consumer concern over the availability of charging stations, the time required to charge electric vehicle batteries and the distance that can be travelled between charging sessions.
The typical Canadian urban commute, however, is far shorter than the travelling range of many of today's plug-in vehicles.
In Ottawa, the electric vehicle charging stations will be built at these 10 locations:
Ben Franklin Place – 101 Centrepointe Dr.
IKEA – 2685 Iris St.
St. Hubert – 2484 Boulevard St. Joseph
McDonalds – 670 Bronson Ave.
City of Ottawa Fire Administration Building – 1445 Carling Ave.
Ottawa Public Parking Lot – 687 Somerset St.
St. Hubert – 4010 Riverside Dr.
Ottawa Park and Ride – 3347 Fallowfield Rd.
Tim Horton's – 989 River Rd.
Ottawa Park and Ride – 130 Earl Grey Dr.
– With files from OBJ staff