Number of Greater Toronto Area EV chargers to grow by 100 after government funding

A series of multi-use buildings across the Greater Toronto Area are set to wire in more than 100 smart electric vehicle chargers over the next eight months as the federal government continues to back EV infrastructure and Canadian landlords look for new ways to appeal to tenants.

Tech firm Peak Power Inc. announced the $1.6 million charging project at its headquarters in Toronto July 12.

Company COO Matthew Sachs said the initial work, which is backed by $765,000 from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), will centre on several properties owned by real estate firms KingSett Capital and Dream Unlimited.

“The funding from NRCan will enable us to provide drivers with more options for EV charging, while the smart nature of our Synergy technology in the chargers means that grid operators don’t have to worry about capacity constraints when EVs are plugged into the grid,” Sachs said at the press conference.

The investment from Ottawa is the latest under the ministry’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). The NRCan initiative provides financial assistance to businesses, governments and organizations installing chargers.

According to Julie Dabrusin, parliamentary secretary to the minister of natural resources, the ministry has so far approved construction of roughly 33,000 EV chargers across Canada as part of the program.

“That’s how we create the future for this system that we’re growing out for a cleaner environment.”

Along with providing building tenants with the place to plug in, Sachs said the software embedded in the chargers, co-developed with EV charging firm Swtch Energy Inc., will enable the chargers to draw energy from the grid when it is most widely available, avoiding times of peak demand.

“It can also adjust the flow rate at which the cars are charged.”

As real estate firms adapt to the EV era, Sachs said landlords are seeing fresh demands from their tenants.

“The Peak project, though it has environmental benefits and economic benefits, those weren’t the drivers. The driver is this is a new amenity and something that their tenants are asking for.”

The project covers 117 chargers spread throughout 13 buildings in and around Toronto.

Markham, Ont.-based Signature Electric is handling the installation of the hardware and associated infrastructure. It is scheduled to have the new infrastructure in place and ready to power up EVs by March of next year.

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