Federal government ends May with a wave of EV infrastructure, vehicle announcements
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Jun 6, 2023
Mehanaz Yakub

From the installation of new chargers to launching a call for proposals to decarbonize on-road transportation, many of the announcements coincided with Canada’s inaugural Economic Development Week

The Government of Canada made a series of funding announcements in May, totalling over $36 million towards Canada’s EV charging ecosystem.
These investments will result in nearly 150 new fast chargers and over 3,500 new Level 2 chargers across Canada.

From the installation of new chargers to launching a call for proposals to decarbonize on-road transportation, many of the announcements coincided with Canada’s inaugural Economic Development Week

The Government of Canada made a series of funding announcements in May, totalling over $36 million towards Canada’s EV charging ecosystem. Some of the investments were part of Canada’s Economic Development Week.

These investments will result in nearly 150 new fast chargers and over 3,500 new Level 2 chargers across Canada.

Economic Development Week occurred for the first time this year during the last full in May. It was an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts around investing in and cultivating a robust Canadian economy.

“During Economic Development Week, we celebrated businesses that are leading us on a path to success,” said Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development in a press statement.

“Whether we’re supporting those that preserve our culture and heritage, those that develop the technologies of the future or those that devise net-zero solutions, we’re investing in a strong economic future.”

In EV-related news, the government announced investments in new EV charging infrastructure, the development of a charging corridor between Canada and the U.S., issued calls for proposals aimed at cutting emissions in on-road transportation and provided funding to companies involved in advancing Canada’s battery and EV manufacturing supply chains.

“The Government of Canada is supporting the made-in-Canada EV economy. From securing jobs building electric vehicle batteries at the Volkswagen Gigafactory in St. Thomas, Ontario, to the announcement of…new chargers, we are investing in the clean economy,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources in a press release.

Over 3,000 chargers coming to Ontario

Among the recipients of the federal funding are 30 Ontario-based partner organizations. Natural Resource Canada (NRCan) wants them to deploy up to 1,908 Level 2 and 100 DC fast chargers across Ontario.

The new chargers will be in various multi-use residential buildings (MURBs), public places, fleets and workplaces. Specifically, 995 chargers are for MURBs, 440 chargers for fleets, 299 chargers for public places and 244 chargers for workplaces.

NRCan is providing $13.65 million through ZEVIP and the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative for these chargers. The remaining amount will be contributed by the 30 partner organizations.

Additionally, NRCan is committing top-up funding of $10.9 million to five existing EV projects through Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) delivery organizations. Delivery organizations are provincial, territorial, regional, or municipal governments or not-for-profit organizations. They are responsible for redistributing ZEVIP funds to “ultimate recipients.” Those include companies, condo boards, Indigenous businesses or communities, public institutions, or government departments/agencies.

The top-up funding will finance up to 1,328 new EV chargers. The specific locations for these chargers are not yet available.

Electric Autonomy asked NRCan for details on the recipient delivery organizations, but did not receive a response. Here is a full list of existing delivery organizations.

“As we advance toward our 2035 electric vehicle target, we are partnering with industry, workers and local and Indigenous partners to build out our charging infrastructure while creating good jobs and affordable transportation options in communities across Canada,” said Wilkinson.

The full list of the organizations receiving funding is here.

More EV chargers across Canada

NRCan is also allocating an additional $12 million for more than 1,800 new public EV chargers across Ontario and the country.

The funding will be distributed to four organizations:

Additional funding for the chargers will be provided by the participating organizations. The total project cost is over $27 million.

In British Columbia, the federal government is giving a combined $201,000 to support the installation of 40 Level 2 chargers in Kelowna. The City of Kelowna will receive $120,000 to install 24 new chargers. And Bernard Block Mission Group Homes GP Ltd. will receive $81,000 to install 16 new chargers.

To date, over 45,000 chargers have already been installed nationwide with federal government support, says the government.

Binational EV charging station corridor announcement

The federal government revealed on May 16th its collaboration with the United States to establish a binational charging station corridor connecting Quebec City to Michigan.

The corridor will pass through one of the busiest passenger and trade routes: along the I-94 highway, through the tunnel in Detroit to the Canadian side of the border to Highway 401, through Toronto, Highway 20 in Montreal and Highway 40 through to Quebec City.

There will be 215 charging stations — 61 between Detroit and Toronto and 154 stations spanning the remaining distance. Chargers will be accessible every 80 kilometres. Stations will include at least one DC fast charger with the Combined Charging System connector.

“This first cross-border alternative fuel corridor will help drivers to travel across the border and charge or refuel worry-free,” said  Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport in a press statement.

“It contributes to bringing us another step closer to making our air cleaner while helping people save money on traditional fuels.”

RFP to reduce transportation emissions

Along with the funding for chargers, NRCan also launched a call for proposals last week to support research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects aimed at reducing or eliminating emissions from the on-road transportation sector.

The government is looking to fund RD&D projects that:

  • Address technical and market barriers to the demonstration or deployment of zero/low-emission on-road medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs);
  • Increase the uptake of zero-emission on-road vehicles; and
  • Improve the transportation system’s overall efficiency.

Funding for the projects will come through the Energy Innovation program. Successful applicants may receive up to 75 percent of total eligible costs for R&D projects to a maximum of $1.5 million. For demonstration projects, funding can cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $5 million.

Indigenous applicants may request a contribution covering up to 100 per cent of the total project costs, subject to the same maximum dollar amount specified for both project categories

The call for proposals will be open until July 20, 2023. Successful applicants may submit full project proposals in the fall.

More details on the application process can be found here.

EV supply chain funding

Lastly, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) made two funding announcements aimed at supporting businesses involved in the EV supply chain.

ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Americas Ltd., an Ontario-based steel manufacturer specializing in lightweight auto parts, is getting $5 million to transition from making components for fuel-powered vehicles to fully EV components at its Concord facility. This transition will create 65 new jobs.

“Our company is grateful for this government funding, which allows us to expand our production of innovative new products for electric vehicles,” says Todd Baker, president and CEO of ArcelorMittal, in a press statement.

“This funding directly supports our investment in industry-leading manufacturing equipment, brings new jobs to the area, and marks an exciting step forward in our commitment to helping drive a safer and greener tomorrow.”

Then, FedDev Ontario announced a $4.8-million investment in Mississauga-based Stromcore Energy Inc., a manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for forklifts. Stromcore is adding new manufacturing equipment and launching two new products in order to scale up its operations and create 18 new jobs.

One of the products is the Electric Cart, a zero-emission e-forklift developed in collaboration with Amazon for lifting goods. The other is the Turbo Bank, an advanced AI-powered charger.

The company says these products “have a fast-charging capability and the ability to operate in colder environments.”

Stromcore is also taking end-of-life batteries and salvaging up to 99 per cent of the components (claims FedDev Ontario).

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