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EV smugness or Reasonable? You Decide

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by sitter_k, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. sitter_k

    sitter_k Member

    Jun 23, 2014
    Toronto (GTA)
    Toronto electric car owner stuck trying to charge car on the street | Toronto Star

    The province is offering citizens big rebates to upgrade to an electric car — but for the thousands of people in Toronto without a garage, it’s not money that’s stopping them from reducing carbon emissions — it’s parking.

    After buying a shiny new Chevy Volt in April 2016, Todd Anderson was ready to start saving on gas and the environment with the help of a $12,500 provincial rebate.

    “I wanted to do something about climate change,” said Anderson, who’s been in the renewable energy business for more than a decade.

    “I see how it makes jobs for people in Ontario as well.”

    But without a garage or driveway, Anderson says he’s stuck trying to charge his car on the street, and city bylaws and red tape don’t make it easy.

    To charge his car, Anderson must run an extension cord from the charging station he installed on the lawn of his Riverdale home to a public spot kitty-corner from his house. If the space is full, he has to park in the no-parking zone in front of his house. So far, he said he’s been fined about $300, and he’s worried the cord is a tripping hazard.

    All these hassles get in the way of more people buying electric vehicles, he said.

    “I don’t think someone who drives a gas car would put up with not being able to use a gas station on a daily basis,” he said.

    Anderson asked his Ward councillor, Paula Fletcher, to help him get approval to park in front of his house at night and to run the charging cord underneath the city-owned sidewalk, an installation he says he is happy to pay for himself.

    But Fletcher says that while she’s “all about electric vehicles” and understands his frustration, there’s little she can do in the short term, as both requests would require bylaws to be rewritten.

    “I don’t think the city’s moving fast enough,” she said. “We should be anticipating these new developments for the environment and thinking about how to accommodate them.”

    Since 2012, Transportation Services and Toronto Hydro have been studying where and how to install up to five curb-side charging stations. In 2014, three on-street locations were selected to test the electric charge stations, at Elizabeth Street, Ed Mirvish Way and Wellington Street West.

    But in the end, the project was never completed, said Nazzareno Capano from Transportation Services, because of “internal changes” at Toronto Hydro and new Energy Board rules.

    “We hope that the pilot can be fully operational within the next six to eight months and will provide us with meaningful data and insight on how and where these EV on-street charging stations could be accommodated and its on-going operation,” Capano said.

    “Once we have these findings, the intent is to eventually report back to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.”

    Fletcher wants the city to get serious about installing more curbside charging stations, and has asked them to look into installing one at North Riverdale Park, which is being renovated, as a solution for Anderson’s parking woes.

    “I want them to grapple with this,” she said. “There will be more and more electric vehicles.”

    But Anderson says that if the city really wants to encourage electrical vehicle use, they’ll make it possible for homeowners to charge their cars efficiently on the street near their home.

    North Riverdale Park is about two kilometres away from his home, and it’s unrealistic to expect car owners to park and then walk home with groceries and kids, especially in the winter, he says.

    “I don’t think electric vehicle owners want to rely on public charging stations,” he said.

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