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Canada: Ontario has new strategy to entice motorists to go electric

Ontario Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli says the province is ready to put up millions of dollars to encourage Ontario motorists to start driving electric cars. (Feb. 23, 2012)

Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli says the province is prepared to put up millions of dollars to encourage Ontario motorists to get out of their gas guzzling pickup trucks and cars and into electric vehicles.

This time it’s in the way of an incentive for the private sector to build charging stations at places like parking lots, gasoline stations and shopping malls as well as a separate program for home charging stations.

“We have some (significant) funding to partner with them, so we are looking for joint venture proposals to put in charging stations. And we also starting to look internally out of that funding program to support home charging stations,” Chiarelli said this week.

The province has set aside $60 million over the next three years for electric vehicle incentives and the charging infrastructure.

While the details are still somewhat sketchy, the Ontario government has put out a request for information for the purposes of gathering intelligence on the level of interest and what’s its going to cost Ontario taxpayer to promote driving green.

“Encouraging Ontarians to choose electric vehicles is part of our government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs,” said Chiarelli, who talked about this and more in an hour-long interview, the details of which are published in today’s Wheels section, the Star’s popular Saturday auto section.

“As Minister of Transportation I believe it’s important for us to encourage motorists to embrace electric vehicles and other ‘green’ forms of transportation like cycling and public transit because it protects our environment, supports vibrant communities and contributes to a high quality of life,” he said.

The province already offers Ontario consumers an incentive ranging from $5,000 to $8,500 toward the purchase or lease of a new plug-in hybrid electric or battery electric vehicle. About $2 million has been spent on vehicle incentives since July 2010.
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