Most ONroute rest stops will have electric vehicle chargers by next summer

17 out of 23 ONroute locations will have chargers installed by next summer

Something new for the road trip if you drive an electric vehicle.

The Ontario government says electric vehicle charging stations will be installed at 17 out of 23 ONroute locations along Highways 400 and 401, and they should be open by next summer.

Details were announced Wednesday by Energy Minister Todd Smith and Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney.

The province says each site will have at least two chargers, and there will be more at busier locations.

The funding won’t directly come from government coffers. The pay-per-use stations will be installed by Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation’s joint network called Ivy.

Three other ONroute stations will have charger stations by the end of next year, while rest stops in Newcastle, Ingersoll and Maple will come on board in a few years once renovations have been completed.

“This deployment will reduce barriers to EV ownership, supporting Ontario’s growing EV manufacturing market, critical minerals sector and help achieve Ontario’s goal of building at least 400,000 electric and hybrid vehicles by 2030,” Smith said in a statement.

Natural Resources Canada provided a $3.45-million loan to Ivy for the project, amounting to 30 per cent of the total cost.

When Doug Ford became premier in 2018, he pulled the plug on the government building a network of public charging stations, with companies and agencies jumping in to meet some of the demand.

Ford also scrapped electric vehicle rebates that year, but in recent weeks has held several media events speaking about wanting to make Ontario an electric vehicle manufacturing leader.