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Maximizing the benefits of lower overnight electricity rates for EVs

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In Climate Change
Feb 19th, 2022
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By Angela Bischoff, Director of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance

Energy Minister Todd Smith’s proposal to establish a lower overnight electricity rate for electric vehicle charging will reward Ontario families that purchase electric cars and pick-up trucks.

But we also need a zero-carbon electricity grid and bi-directional chargers to make Ontario an EV leader.

1.     If Doug Ford really wants to make Ontario an EV manufacturing powerhouse, Ontarians must be able to power their EVs with zero-carbon electricity. Unfortunately, Ontario’s gas plants are no longer just peaker plants. Today they are also operating during 40 to 50% of our night time (off-peak) hours in the summer and winter respectively. And by 2026, these polluting gas plants will be operating during 86 to 93% of these off-peak hours according to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Ontario is going in the wrong direction. It doesn’t make sense to power our EVs with polluting gas. Ontario must invest in energy efficiency and renewables so that we can power our EVs with 100% zero-carbon electricity.

2.     We also need to install bi-directional chargers so that our EVs can send power back to the grid during the hottest summer and coldest winter days to help us phase-out our gas plants. Unfortunately, most of the EV chargers that are being installed today are one-directional. That is, they can power our EVs, but they don’t allow our EVs to send power back to the grid during peak demand hours. This is very short-sighted since by 2030 the capacity of our EV batteries will be more than double the capacity of our gas plantsThis is urgent. Minister Smith needs to incentivize the installation of bi-directional charging now before millions of “dumb” and “one-directional” chargers are purchased.  

What you can do

Please contact Minister Smith and tell him that we need to decarbonize our electricity grid and our EVs by investing in energy efficiency, renewables and bi-directional chargers.

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