ONroute rest stop

The province of Ontario’s highway rest stop areas known as ONroute will be getting EV charging stations by the summer.

Energy Minister Todd Smith and Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney will make an official announcement later today, and will note that the province is not directly funding the new additions. Instead, National Resources Canada has provided a loan of $3.45-million to Hydro One’s and Ontario Power Generation’s joint charging network called Ivy, amounting to 30 per cent of the total cost.

Ivy will be installing at least two pay-per-use chargers at 17 of 23 ONroute stations along Highways 401 and 400, with some of the more busier locations getting four outlets. Another three charging stations will be open by the end of next year, while the ONroutes in Maple, Ingersoll and Newcastle are being renovated and won’t have chargers until they are finished in a couple of years.

“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.

When elected in 2018, premier Doug Ford cancelled the previous Liberal government’s plans for adding charging infrastructure across the province (including at its ONroute network), as well as cancelling all incentives for EV purchases and home charging. Ford has recently been advocating for Ontario as an EV production centre, with plans and visions meant to encourage development in the mining and manufacturing sectors.

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